Veterinary Spotlight:

Veterinary Medicine: The Career of Options

Photo credit: Dot Paul, University of Georgia

  University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine doctor Paige Carmichael pets her Bernese Mountain Dog Jack while visiting Chase Street Elementary School in Athens, Georgia.   
Dr. Paige Carmichael, associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of pathology at the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine, wants to spread the word about the varied careers available to those who obtain degrees in veterinary medicine.

"I wish I could find a way to make young people aware of all the possible career paths earlier than I did -- in high school or even elementary school," says Dr. Carmichael.  "Veterinary medicine is truly the career of options."

Carmichael's career path is a case in point. She earned her veterinary medical degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 and her Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in 1994. She became board certified in veterinary anatomic pathology in 1995.

Her research focuses on ophthalmic pathology and neuropathology, subjects that first attracted her attention because of the difficulties and puzzles they presented. "They appeared to be the most challenging systems to most other pathologists. Instead of shying away from these because they were too difficult, I couldn't turn down the challenge."

As a veterinary student, Dr. Carmichael was surprised to learn how many career choices her veterinary degree could open up to her. "A veterinarian can be a general practitioner or specialize in areas such as pathology, small animal surgery, public health, or biomedical research, to name a few."