The work of veterinarians is varied and challenging. It is often busy, marked by responsibility and quick but sound decisions. In addition to a sharp mind and skilful hands, veterinarians need social skills and empathy when dealing with customers, which occurs frequently.
The working environment is diverse. Veterinarians can specialise in many different duties in areas such as
- the health, diseases and welfare of living animals
- food production
- environmental health care
- research, management, control and operational planning.
In Finland, there are altogether some 2,630 licensed veterinarians, pensioners included (January 2017).
Most veterinarians conduct clinical patient work as production animal veterinarians or small animal and equine veterinarians. Every third veterinarian works with food hygiene. Controlling food safety, contagious veterinary diseases and animal welfare is an important sector for veterinarians. Many veterinarians find employment as a result of companion and hobby animals.
In their work, veterinarians deal with the entire life-cycle of animals – in addition to positive matters, the work entails treating serious diseases and coming face-to-face with death.