Contributing Writer — Shashank Agrawal
Name – Dr. V. K. Agrawal
Profession – Veterinarian (Vet. Doctor)
Age – 71
Gender – Male
City – Dehradun
Industry – Healthcare
- Individuals who love animals and like to help animals will truly enjoy this profession, else it will difficult because of several challenges.
- Vet is highly respected by animal owners but command less respect than medical doctors in the society because human life value is considered more than animal life.
- Govt jobs usually have postings in rural and semi-urban areas, which may be challenging for some who want city life or want their kids to be brought-up in city schools.
- This profession comes with odd-hours working. One is required to be present for emergencies as not many Vets are available in a given area unlike medical profession.
- Pay scales in government jobs for Vet are almost same as the medico.
- Newly appointed Vet has to serve in remote places for 5 years initially.
Where have you been born and raised? What is your family background?
I was born and raised in Meerut. I went to government schools and then joined Veterinary College, Mathura and got a degree of B.VSc. & A.H. (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry). It was a four year degree and one year internship was compulsory in Govt. hospital. Thereafter, I joined UP govt job with postings mainly in rural areas of western UP in initial years. My father was eye doctor and had his own clinic in Meerut.
Who all had the most influence on you and how?
I was most influenced by one distant relative who was head of department in Veterinary College, Mathura. The way he used to describe the profession really lured me towards this career.
Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession?
Each state of India today has at least one government funded State Veterinary College. These are the best in my opinion.
What are the typical entry level jobs in this profession?
There are several jobs available to a Vet degree holder; primary being Govt. job, setting up your own clinic, Medical representative with a pharma company, joining as research associate in pharma or research companies or remount veterinary core in armed forces.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
Average Income progression of a Vet
- Govt. jobs have several perks such as free housing in most places.
Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal work day?
I had six days working. Hospital started early around 7 AM and close around lunch-time. After lunch, I was free to carry out my private practice, which required me to visit patients as it is difficult for large animals to travel. Sometimes, I would have to travel long distances (around 25 KMs) just for one patient.
I handled mostly cows, buffalos, dogs, goats and other domestic animals. Rarely, forest department would invite me for treatment of deer, panther, elephant etc
What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?
- The biggest positive is the sense of fulfilment that I derive of helping animals. The family that is dependent on that animal also gets benefited from the treatment and I feel joyous of seeing their smiling faces.
- This is noble profession and I got sense of achievement in each place I served, which is far more important to me than money.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?
- Lesser respect than medical doctors — In general, Vet gets lesser respect than medical doctor in our society. If you care for other’s perceptions a lot, then you may want to consider choosing medical profession over Vet.
- Odd hours working — you will be required to travel and attend patients at odd hours, which may not be acceptable to many who want better work-life balance.
- Posting in rural areas — as most of the animals are found in rural areas, posting is generally in rural and semi-urban areas. This may be challenging for those who desire city life.
What kind of person would be happy in your career?
A person who loves animals.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned? Would you pursue another profession or a passion perhaps?
I had more interest in army. I think I would have been happier in army.