Why it’s possible the Veterinary business could disappear

I’ve never thought much about veterinarian school (except how hard that word is to pronounce), but man did I just learn a lot of interesting stuff about it. This week on the Pete the Planner Radio Show, I talked to Dr. Greg Magnusson owner and veterniarian at Leo’s Pet Care in Carmel. In this clip, courtesy of 93 WIBC, Dr. Magnusson and I talk about student loans, starting a veterinary practice, and the future of veterinarians.

I think anyone who owns a pet would agree that they are like family members so we want to care for them the same way. Veterinarians are there to take care of all pet needs and yet behind the scenes vets are struggling.

A veterinarian, like a medical doctor or lawyer, will accrue around $140,000 in student loans (this does not include undergraduate education costs), but unlike a medical doctor or lawyer, veterinarians don’t generate nearly as much income. A ‘human’ doctor, can reasonably hope to make around $100,000 after residency, a veterinarian’s starting salary is $45,000. Doctors often complain about the financial stress of paying off a $140,000 student loan on a $100,000 annual income, but veterinarians don’t even complain about it because they have no hope of ever paying theirs off. Getting out of debt isn’t even an option and most expect to pay their monthly student loan payment until they die.

This is obviously a problem. If you’ve followed me at all you know how I feel about student loans. Hell, I even wrote a book about it. But I also laud pursuing your passion and if you want to be a veterinarian you should definitely be a veterinarian. If you’ve already got the student loans, you can pay them off. Consolidating them can ease some of the burden, but most important will be budgeting. You want to get out of debt? You are going to have to a make a ton of sacrifices, but trust me, financial wellness is worth it.

Oh, and be nice to your vet, they are in it for their passion not the money.

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