Exploring Veterinary Careers Outside of Private Practice

Rachel Cezar, DVM, director of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, talks about the different alternative careers veterinarians are able to explore.
Published: July 19, 2018

Rachel Cezar, DVM, director of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, talks about the different alternative careers veterinarians are able to explore.

"My advice for those that think that private practice is the only way to be in the profession of veterinary medicine is that you have to consider there are so many different options that are out there for veterinarians. And anyone that's actually interested in the veterinary profession, the panel that I just actually had for our hot topics session, 'Alternative Careers in Veterinary Medicine,' I did have not just veterinarians on there but also practice managers and individuals that do consulting for veterinarians, as well, that just had a passion to actually be a part of the veterinary profession. 

So, I think that some of the biggest points that were made during that hot topics session was taking a leap of faith, you know just going out there and just trying, the right time in the right place, and making sure you have the right mentors, because you just never know. It's not a bad thing to just go out there and try something new and then even considering going back to practice if you're like, 'You know, this isn't working out for me. I think I want to go back.' So, I think that's the thing, just realizing that there's so much opportunities in the veterinary profession that many don't realize they can do. Like even marketing or being in the media or things of that nature. So yeah, you just need to take that leap of faith and get out there. 

Some of the things, a lot of the individuals I know are involved in industry and pharmaceutical companies, working directly with them, they are working directly in academia supporting students already in veterinary medicine or just undergrad or interested in veterinary medicine or animal science. I know a lot of veterinarians that are, myself included, I help out at a community college for veterinary assistants that are just interested and want to see is the veterinary profession for me or not? Or even teaching in biology, just because I enjoy teaching and talking to students.

So, I think that's the thing. There's just so much other avenues, such as, like I said, academia, research, and even working for nonprofits-there's a lot of veterinarians working here for the American Veterinary Medical Association or other different associations, as well-and just basically helping support the initiatives and the positions that veterinarians need to show, to see out there how we should be moving forward as a whole as a profession."

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