Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM) is a unique area of veterinary medicine that, unlike most specialties, doesn't have a human medicine counterpart. Take a look at these awesome reasons to consider specializing in laboratory animal medicine:
Species variety- Options to work with a variety of species including rodents, rabbits, cats, dogs, livestock, fish, invertebrates, non-human primates, and more!
Brilliant colleagues- Work with brilliant people from MD, PhD, MPH, and DVM backgrounds who are at the forefront of biomedical research. You also work with behavior specialists and pathologists to ensure a whole-picture and multimodal approach to colony management and animal health.
Stimulating work environment- Practice population health as well as individualized medicine, get access to advanced diagnostic equipment, work indoors and outdoors, and consult with brilliant colleagues!
No worry about owner compliance- The institution must comply with your orders, and they have the budget to do so.
Contribution to animal welfare- Many of the LAM veterinarians I have met say that they feel like they are contributing more to animal welfare as a LAM veterinarian than they ever did in private practice. As the lab animal vet, your are literally hired to to ensure the health and welfare of the institution's lab animals. If you deem an animal to be actively suffering you have the authorization to order humane euthanasia, removal from the investigation, change to protocol, hospitalization, treatment, etc.
High salary- With an average salary ranging from $90,000 to over $170,000, laboratory animal veterinarians are one of the profession's leaders in annual income. Non-boarded LAM vets make less than boarded specialists (DACLAM), and LAM vets who work in pharma, contract research organizations, and other private industries tend to earn more than those who work for government institutions or universities.
Contribution to human and animal health- Working in laboratory animal medicine allows you to participate in the approval of pharmaceuticals, medical techniques, and medical equipment, for both animals and humans.
High job satisfaction- With all the reasons outlined above, it's easy to see why laboratory animal veterinarians love their job!