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Veterinary Training Gives Endless Career Options

New Zealand Veterinary Association
Media release
3 July 2008

Veterinary Training Provides Endless Career Options, Says New President

The newly elected president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA), Richard Wild, says a veterinary degree is the first step towards a broad and diverse career path.

“When I was a young veterinarian a senior colleague told me that a veterinary education provided the best broad based education of any of the professions. I believe that still holds true today.”

Dr Wild, a technical coordinator for the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s Verification Agency, says a veterinary degree provides a wide range of knowledge and skills on which to launch a career.

“Veterinary training offers a broad base on which to build a successful working life across an ever-widening choice of disciplines. We have members in private practice, agricultural and livestock related businesses, the pharmaceutical industry, Government departments, universities and research facilities.”

He says the fact that the Association has 15 special interest branches is testimony to the industry’s healthy diversity.

“We have veterinarians engaged in important and exciting work across a range of areas, and the definition of what constitutes veterinary practice is continually expanding.”

He says the Association is keen to promote the different options available to graduates, to combat a current national shortage of veterinarians.

“Like many countries, we have a national shortage of veterinarians, which is particularly acute in some rural areas of the country.

“The Veterinary Association is also putting a lot of effort into providing post graduate training and development related to business management and leadership to enable veterinarians to successfully move into leadership and management roles within practices and related industries.”

He says today’s veterinary degrees have a much stronger focus on business management.

“For too long veterinarians have been reluctant managers. Thankfully this is changing, with greater undergraduate and postgraduate focus on the skills and knowledge required for veterinarians to be successful in business.

Dr Wild says it is these skills which open many doors for qualified veterinarians.

“Veterinarians play important roles in a vast range of activities, from the traditional areas of animal health and welfare, to biosecurity, food safety, conservation and disaster management.

“Conservation and sustainability are just two areas in which I can see the veterinary profession becoming more involved in the future.”

For more information on the different roles that veterinarians are involved in, visit the NZVA website,


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