I totally agree with you, was training to be a vet nurse so I remember the long hours and complex procedures, plus as a vet nurse they really take the piss with pay in the uk it was £9,000 a year and thats inside london. Vet nurses also have to learn quite a bit more than a human nurse, i.e. dentistry, radiography and theatre practise.ilovesadie said:Vets seem expensive, but area actually relatively cheap compared to the cost of human medicine. If you ever pay attention to medical insurance billing, a trip to the doctor costs you $15 co-pay, and the exam is usually around $150. Any sort of "diagnostics" is extra, vaccines like Hepatitis B are around $80 per booster, and basic x-rays are around $800 and $500-1000 for someone to read them. A prescription of Ciproflaxacin costs $200 but you pay $15 with insurance.. Whatever your insurance doesn't pay for (you pay monthly for insurance too) you are responsible for out of pocket, but it usually doesn't come out to much.
The average veterinarian charges $40 for an exam, $15 per vaccine, $100 for x-rays which includes reading them. Enroflaxacin (Baytril) tabs cost about a dollar each. They rely on owner's willingness to pay for their animal's medical care, and have to deal with monetary issues up front (not behind the shield of insurance).
A veterinarian isn't just a physician, he/she is also a laboratory diagnostician, a radiologist, a dentist, a surgeon, a psychologist, an emergency doctor, and manager, and a businessman that must deal with health issues for dozens of different species who's only way of communication are the clues can be clinically observed.
Next time you spend a considerable sum of money at the vet's office, take a moment to think about all the things they do, and how relatively little they are paid. The average salary of US veterinarians in 2004 was $45,000 a year, many are making less, and many are making more, but compared to human medicine, this is chump change.
One of the reasons why they are paid so little is because they can only charge what people are willing to pay since medical care for animals is an option rather than a necessity to most people. When the goals of a veterinarian are to relieve the suffering of animals, they cannot charge prices that prevent animals from being treated, but they also must make a living so that they can continue to do their work. This is also one of the main reasons why there are so few men going into the veterinary field, in 2004, less than 10% of applicants to veterinary schools were male. If you don't own a practice or specialize, it is difficult to make a living that can provide for you and your family, and pay off 8 years of college at the same time. They go through the same (and even more) education and training as human doctors, and still don't get the same kind of respect, especially when it comes to costs for care.
This all being said, vets are expensive since you pay entirely out of pocket, but we should look at it in a different perspective. Companion animal ownership is the expensive thing, veterinary care is necessary and part of responsible ownership. If we need to skip out on quality medical care because of the cost, we should rethink our ability to be owners in the first place.
I'm so glad everyone on this site is so conscious of their pets health and treat their pets like they would treat their own kids (and even better in some cases =)! Your chis are so lucky to have you!