Veterinarian School Interview
In your opinion, what do you think would be the most difficult situation you could face as a Vet? Justify your answer.
How to Answer
Interviewers are asking this question to establish your thoughts and views on the difficult situations vets encounter within their role. There is no wrong or right answer to this question, however, it is recommended that you look into, or consider some challenging situations prior to an interview, such as death/loss of an animal, mistreatment etc.
"For me, I think facing a situation that involved animal mistreatment or cruelty would be one of the most difficult things to encounter, purely because of my love and respect towards animals. I will find it difficult to understand how someone could mistreat animals, and am sure these types of situations can be very testing."
6 Community Answers
"That would be facing the situation of having to put a healthy animal down because the owners cannot afford to look after it but having to respect the decisions of the owners."
Solid answer! I have reworked the working for you.
"The most difficult situation that I could face as a vet would be having to put a healthy animal for the convenience of the owners. This topic is a controversial one that I find difficult to understand. Unfortunately, animals are considered property so, in my region, I would have to oblige."Was this answer helpful? Yes (4) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"In my opinion, it would be a situation in which an animal's condition is untreatable and therefore the only viable solution is euthanasia. This, of course, may be difficult to accept, but you must remember that it is right to end the animal's pain and suffering. It is vital not to let these situations compromise your ability to treat other patients, and you must draw a line where appropriate so that you can move on. These cases can also be difficult if the owner is struggling to accept what must happen. You should make sure to explain exactly why this is the only option and inform them of any counseling/bereavement support offered by charities."
These situations would be difficult, indeed. It seems that you have a strong understanding of compassion and that, in many cases, euthanasia is an act of kindness. Mentioning options for counseling and bereavement support is a wonderful idea as well. It's clear that you will be a helpful and caring veterinarian.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"The most difficult situation you could face as a vet would be treating an animal sub-optimally because the owner couldn't afford to or didn't want to pay. Although it is possible to get charities etc, involved, I think it would still be a very difficult situation if the owner was choosing not to pay it would be important to find out why this was."
This would be an incredibly difficult situation to encounter, especially as someone who cares for animals and understands there are many alternative options for pet owners. One recommendation is to avoid 'you' language and stick with 'I' language. This small tweak will make your answer feel more personal. I have provided an example for you below.
"I think the most difficult situation I could face as a vet would be having to treat an animal sub-optimally because the owner couldn't afford to or didn't want to pay. Although it is possible to get charities involved, etc., I think it would still be a very difficult situation if the owner was choosing not to pay. As a vet, if I were to encounter this situation, it would be important that I find out why the owner was making this choice."Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"As a vet, you must always make animal welfare your first consideration, as the RCVS code states, and so it is sometimes incredibly difficult to navigate situations where commercial considerations and financial restraints can limit this. During my work experience in a small animal vet clinic, I experienced a scenario where a client couldn't afford treatment for their animal and so they were faced with having to euthanize their animal. The client then said to the vet 'if you really cared about the animal, you'd do this for free.' This is a horrible situation because it isn't necessarily so black and white - the vet has to balance a myriad of professional responsibilities to not only the animal and the client, but their team, the RCVS, the profession, and the public. Doing this surgery for free would be deleterious to themselves and their team and is a lot more complex than the client made it."
This is a terrible situation for a veterinarian to be in for sure, and you make a good point that this type of circumstance is not black and white. When you are a veterinarian, is there anything you can do/plan to do to help alleviate a difficult situation such as this?Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"The most challenging aspect of veterinary medicine would be the inability to treat an animal due to refusal of treatment by the owner. There are many occasions I have seen where a doctor will recommend a treatment the animal needs. Many times owners are not willing or able to spend the necessary funds on treating an animal."
This is a sad situation, for sure, and one that happens far too often. Do you have a recommendation for this type of situation? If you were the clinic owner, what would you do?Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"The inability to treat an animal with a solvable problem but a lack of funds is a very heartbreaking situation that Veterinarians face. Knowing that the only reason why a pet cannot be healed is due to money would make you feel so helpless. Communicating this to an owner would be extremely hard, especially as I would be desperate to provide the care needed."
This situation would be incredibly hard to face. What do you think you will be able to do as a vet to help alleviate this type of situation?Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!