It’s sometimes said that veterinarians are “in it for the money,” but the numbers tell a different story. There are 136 accredited medical schools in the United States but only 28 veterinary schools. That means, statistically speaking, that it’s easier to get into medical school than veterinary school.
Furthermore, both physicians and veterinarians are in debt for an average of over $100,000 when they graduate, but the average first year-salary for a medical doctor is $160,000, according to at least one estimate, while the average first-year salary for a veterinarian is $65,000.
What it boils down to is that “veterinarians don’t choose their profession to become rich,” says Tufts veterinary internist Linda Ross, DVM. “In fact, the high cost of veterinary school juxtaposed against salaries has become more and more of an issue for people who want to choose a veterinary career,” she adds. The bottom line: people become veterinarians because they want to heal animals. It’s a vocation for them rather than a means to an end.