Making the leap from veterinary school to the real world or from that first job into a new career path can seem like a daunting prospect. To help guide students and recent graduates through these transitions, the AVMA has created a new online resource for members.
My Veterinary Life is a dedicated website with information and resources on personal well-being, financial literacy, and career success. The site launched just before AVMA Convention 2018.
Dr. Caroline Cantner, an assistant director for student initiatives in the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, said, "It has been exciting to bring together the many financial resources we have at AVMA as well as key external resources in one easy-to-navigate location for veterinary students and recent-graduate veterinarians."
Those still in veterinary college, for example, can explore international exchange opportunities compiled by Student AVMA officers and volunteers. Or they can check out the recently updated Student Externship Locator that lets users search by field of interest and state or school.
A new resource available only on the site is a series of seven short videos featuring Paul Garrard, founder and president of PGPresents, who is an expert on the management of educational debt. In the videos, he gives advice on how to take the guesswork out of repayment strategies, explains how the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program works, and goes over the differences among income-driven repayment plans, the Pay As You Earn repayment plan, and the Revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan.
Recent graduates and rising professionals will find self-assessment tools to help them navigate their best career path or measure their professional quality of life. There are also a number of on-demand webinars on client communication, practice ownership, and other topics.
In addition, My Veterinary Life links to the newly developed Veterinary Salary Estimator. Through the use of historical data trends, this tool provides approximate salary ranges for various careers—from industry to academia to private practice—that can be used as a guide for pay negotiations as well as budgeting and financial planning.
The site links to the AVMA's Personal Financial Planning Tool, too. This member-only tool can help users build a profile of their finances so they can evaluate potential salaries, expenses, loans, and savings strategies through customized scenarios.
Scott MacKenzie, director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, said, "Member research has made it clear that career, well-being, and financial resources are what is most needed by the student and early-career segments. Being able to provide the key resources to individuals at each stage of their career helps set them up for success as they build their future."