Adding a New Puppy to Your Family

To Intern Or Not: A Vet's Choice

by Arttu Kari

If you are a new veterinarian straight out of school, you have a big choice ahead of you. Will you do an internship, or are you going to jump right in? Veterinarians are not required to complete a veterinary internship. If you are in the middle of making this tough decision, here are a few pros and cons that may help you figure it out.

Not Doing An Internship

If you do not do an internship you are going to jump straight into practicing veterinary medicine, which has its perks and challenges. 


You get to be your own boss, which means you will be the one calling the shots. Instead of taking orders and doing things someone else's way, you will finally have a say. If you are brave and confident enough, this can go extremely well. Additionally, you will finally be making the money of a veterinarian, which means you can begin to pay off your student loans. 


It can be extremely stressful to jump right into working on your own. You will not have anyone to turn to, but instead, everyone will be turning to you. There will be many long hours and challenging cases, and many people feel their first year is extremely challenging. 

Doing An Internship

A veterinary internship is usually about a year-long and can be extremely helpful in specializing in a certain part of vet medicine. 


There are many benefits to doing an internship instead of starting on your own. One of which is the opportunity to see how a professional runs their business and their tricks of the trade. An internship is almost like easing into the profession, with one more year of having someone there to help you make the tough calls. Many people who have completed internships say that their time learning under a skilled vet was invaluable to their career. 


One of the only cons of doing an internship is that it delays your actual career by another year. You will likely be making under 40k, and working long hours. If your family is really struggling with a low income, you may want to just jump into your career, though every situation may vary. 

In conclusion, what you do is up to you, but depending on your personality type you may want to consider doing a veterinary internship. The extra practice, guidance, and experience can really benefit you in the long run.