This blog has MOVED!

Please visit for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

DVM versus PhD

To the reader who wanted to know how I answered the PhD versus DVM you go. :) I can't respond in the comments, so this gets to be a post that everyone gets to see.

The question is: why are you getting your DVM instead of your PhD? Of course, they led with the question of "describe how you see yourself practicing after graduation". The corner was: trying to make me describe a future career in such specifics that they could point to it and say I didn't need a DVM for it, and then see if I would reverse myself. (My career will not be as a traditional clinical vet).

I saw the corner coming because one vet I had talked to had told me to view this like a media circus, and my aunt had told me, when we talked about the PhD versus DVM thing that if it came down to it - just say "I want to treat animals" because legally I must have a DVM to do so, even if the rest of my job does not require a DVM.

This is how it went.
  • They would ask me about my potential career
  • I would describe (somewhat generally) how I saw myself practicing
  • They would counter with - well, you can do such and such with a PhD and you don't need a DVM to do (fill in the blank with some aspect of the job I had desribed)
  • I would counter with "I want to treat animals".
  • Then they would say something like "I dont' understand why you need a DVM to do what you want to do"
  • I would counter with a succinct "I want to treat animals"

A first year student on the interview orientation panel shared a story from his interview (and the interviewer that he had, happened to be the same one I had) and had a similar tactic tried on him - the interviewer pretended not to see a line the applicant was drawing between economic euthansia of puppies, and that of lab rats for research purposes. So, the interviewer asked him over and over to expalin his position while saying "I just don't see how you justify one and not the other". Finally the student told him "we are just going to have to differ on that point because.....blah blah blah" and stuck to his guns. Obviously the interviewer DID see the difference between the 2 types of euthanasia, BUT was trying to see what the applicant would do. (BTW that applicant got in - obviously if he's sharing his story as a 1st year student).

Obviously now that I have my wits around me, I could have formulated my answers a little differently and sounded a bit more coherent - but that's the nature of these types of interviews, the point is to see how you can react under pressure.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for addressing my question!

    The intent of the questioning was not what I expected at all. It seems like the motivation is to trick you or direct as many people to PhD programs as possible. Why do they even care if you want to practice research with a DVM? Research is the basis for progress, regardless of the letters after a name.

    It is a good thing that you went in with a plan, I would have been floored not knowing that the interview should be approached like a game of chess. Great post.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.