Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1192. Vet specialists in Singapore

Vet Specialists in Singapore

Reply to an ex-Intern in her 5th year of study


Sep 20,2013

I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets. I hope all are well with you. When will you be graduating?

------------------------------- ·

Hello Dr Sing! I haven't spoken to you in a long time! how are you? I will be starting year 5 in 2 months and will graduate by end of next year! Time has flown by so quickly! I am excited yet apprehensive at the same time! Do you have any tips for me starting rotations? :)


Plan early n see more of the exotic places u will never travel to unless u see practice


haha yes we have settled our rotation schedule already and i will be going to thailand OIE for my public practice rotation which i might get to go to lao/cambodia/vietnam/malaysia too! 

With your experience and expertise, do you think Singapore will be a good place for me to come back as a fresh graduate or would it be better if I work in Australia for 1-2 years before coming back to singapore to work? 

Also based on Singapore's current pet industry, how important is it to do a specialist course after graduation?


  • Oct 14, 2013 Montreal, Canada
As I seldom read Facebook messages, I am sorry for the belated reply to your msg dated Sep 21, 2013


1. More fresh graduates are coming home to less good positions and less salaries. The bigger practices want vets with experience nowadays. 

2. Estimated 60 veterinary practices exist now. Good for pet owners who want proximity. Some practices close but more are opening. Should be 70 when you graduate as these practices have good financial backers.

3. A practice may have more than "10 vets' listed but many are part-timers.

4. A vet can start his own practice only after one year of working and many have strong financial back ups to start up.

5. Work in Australia for 2 years - only if you can find a top small animal practice with lots of variety of cases and surgeries and equipment like MRI.

6. Get a specialist degree in opthalmology or orthopedics as Singapore is very short of specialists, if you are passionate about this specialty. However, a specialist doing general practice work like vaccination and spays will not be respected or referred to. In any case, be prepared for little income for some time.

7. A specialist needs to start his own practice with good updated equipment. I visited Hong Kong vet practice in an upscale area. The nurse told me that she would refer a case for MRI to a certain practice with the expertise as that practice has the experts reading the scan..

In other words, owning an MRI or CT scan does not mean much if the vet has no solid experience in reading MRI scans as the feeder clinics will not refer to the vet who has such sophisticated equipment without the expertise to use and read the scans.

8. In conclusion, what is your interest and passion in small animal practice. As to being a specialist, this will take you many years preferably in the USA, before other GP vets will refer cases to you.

I hope this answers your queries.

  •  Thank you for your reply and advice, Dr Sing. It was very informative. What if I do not specialise but work 1-2 years in Australia before I go back to Singapore? Will that affect adversely on my career? Where would you suggest to be a good country (besides Australia) to work in after graduation? Because Australia is on the verge of removing Vets off the Skilled Work List which means that we might not be able to get a visa to work in Australia if they change the law, and that will take place in July next year, before I graduate.
Enjoy your trip in Canada!


Oct 15, 2013
There appears to be an impending economic recession for the heartlanders in Singapore and intense competition in the private sector. Rentals and staff costs keep increasing every year as many properties are controlled by a few corporations and rich landlords, as in Hong Kong. 

The 60 veterinary practices will not be spared the economics esp. the new ones. The new practices will not be employing more full-time vets paying top salaries as for lawyers. A new graduate lawyer and doctor is said to earn over $7,000/month nowadays but not for new vets with more supply than demand.

Therefore, much depends on your assessment, Best place to go is USA and it is best to do a useful specialty degree and be useful to the bigger practices who need to boost their credentials.

No comments:

Post a Comment