Guten Tag from Germany! I’m here for the next couple of weeks for some professional development training courtesy of the U.S. government and your tax dollars. Tough life, right?
After a quick window on my life and work right now, I’m going to share some great resources that will help you learn more about the wonders of veterinary employment with the federal government.
What Brings Me to Germany
This week I’m participating in the International Military Veterinary Medical Symposium. Over these first couple of days, we’re getting RACE-approved continuing education credits with some quality clinical lectures by N.C. State dermatologist Marcy Murphy, Michigan State neurosurgeon Curtis Probst, and Michigan State radiologist Tony Pease.
The second half of the week will feature presentations by military vets from all over Europe on their work and research. The best part about the whole thing is networking with these uncommon veterinarians and hanging out with my friends among the other U.S. Army vets stationed here in Europe.
Last year the conference was held at the military’s cushy Edelweiss resort in the Alps, and my family and I enjoyed a week of beautiful vistas and German culture. Unfortunately due to the current sequestration budget cuts, that wasn’t going to happen again. So this year’s conference is being held on one of the big U.S. bases in Germany and I’m stuck in a generic hotel room attached to a big new military shopping center. Fun times.
Next week I’ll be doing some intensive surgical training with our two Army board-certified veterinary surgeons who work out of the main military working dog (MWD) referral hospital for Europe. One of my MWDs from Sicily might be coming up at the same time for correction of a knee injury, but otherwise I’ll mostly be practicing my gastropexy and basic spay/neuter skills.
Veterinary Jobs with the Federal Government
I recently discovered a few helpful resources for people interested in employment as a veterinarian with the federal government. Instead of sharing them one by one on my Facebook page and Twitter feed (please connect with me if you haven’t already!), I thought I would put a few together for a little blog post instead.
1. AVMA Webinar: Finding & Applying for Veterinary Federal Jobs: This webinar was put on by the AVMA’s Career Center and provides practical guidance on the whole intimidating process of landing that cushy government job. Watch the recording of the webinar on YouTube here.
2. How to Find Federal Veterinary Jobs on the USAJobs site: Simply go to this Advanced Search page, enter “0701” in the Series Number Search, and press “Search Jobs”. Now browse away to your heart’s content and dream of good benefits, generous retirement, and the elusive 9 to 5. I got some great feedback from some other federal vets on this point. They let me know that you can also use the keyword search with the terms “veterinary” or “veterinarian” and this will pull up some other jobs that aren’t in the 0701 series but that vets are eligible to fill.
3. U.S. Animal Health Association Job Board: This online bulletin board is updated pretty frequently with unique veterinary jobs not only with the federal government but also state governments, Native American tribes, universities, and more.
4. AVMA Externship & Fellowship Blog: How did I not know about this site before? The AVMA’s Governmental Relations externs and Congressional Science fellows have been writing regular updates on their experiences in D.C. for over five years now. I’ve considered the fellowship program myself, so this is definitely a space I will be watching from here on out.
5. National Association of Federal Veterinarians: Did you know that such an entity existed? Me either, until I got a cool e-mail last week from their executive vice president following up on a Twitter conversation. Learn more about their work and mission here.
And Now Back to My Studies
I can’t help but get excited when I think about all the different ways we can use our veterinary training to not just make a living but also make a difference. The federal government has a lot of cool opportunities, but it also comes with its own frustrations and constraints as well. It’s worth thinking about, at least.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m preparing to take next month’s board exams for the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. If I can manage to squeeze by with a passing score, I’ll have a valuable credential for future job applications and an extra $6000 per year from the Army. Each day I’m realizing how much there still is to learn!
Are you going to register for the webinar?
Any of those postings on the USAJobs site look interesting?
Do you think an externship or fellowship through the AVMA in D.C. would be worthwhile?
Leave a comment and let me know!