This is an extract of a memoir footage between Tjonane Matla (Editor) and Dr. Andrea Pinczak, while attending a technical tour of the Merino Conference. The dialogue was held at La Magdalena Farm on Sunday the 8th of April 2014. After introductions and a lot of chatting together………
Editor – Would you have any idea how many Veterinary Doctors does Uruguay have, and against what population of animals (sheep, cattle, horses)?
Doctor – I thinks that nowadays may be around 2500- 2600 active veterinary doctors in Uruguay. The population of animal in Uruguay in 2017 was cattle 11,700,000, sheep 6,500,000, and horses 400,000 approximately.
Editor – What year did you graduate and how many were you?
Doctor – I studied at Veterinary Faculty of Universidad de la Republica del Uruguay (UDELAR). I started my career in 1993 and finished in 2000. We were about 80 student in my class. Nowadays the population of veterinary student have increase a lot
Editor – Who financed your education?
Doctor – My parent financed my studies, but I started working at the Faculty doing investigation in reproduction in sheep, these helped me with some income generation and during my last years I was studying and working at a Bull center, where I managed to earn some cash.
Editor – At what age did you graduate as Vet?
Doctor – I was 24 years old when I got my degree.
Editor – How long did it take for you before getting a job/working? How long have you been working?
Doctor – I was already working before I finished the studying. I start working doing research during my studies and these helped me to get a job when upon completion. I have a specialization in Reproduction in ruminant. In Uruguay it is not very common to start working in what you like before you complete with your studies. I was lucky, but also studied very hard and prepared a lot for my career.
Editor – Is there demand for private Vets in Uruguay?
Doctor – I think yes there is demand in different areas.
Editor – Mainly what is your job with farmers (main business activity?)
Doctor – I work in biotechnologies of reproduction in ruminants (freezing semen, embryo transfers, laparoscopic insemination in sheep) I’m the technical director of an Insemination center doing freezing semen of bulls and rams. (IRAUy)
Editor – When are you expected to pay back your bursary and how is it paid?
Doctor – I did not have a bursary, education is free in Uruguay, but after five years of working, we get taxed to contribute in the education and pension revolving fund. In other words, you only pay for your education after five years of work, as the assumption is that you have accumulated the basics and now one can take of younger peoples’ education.
Editor – How many Veterinary Doctors work for the Government and How many in Private?
Doctor – I do not know exactly the answer for this question but I think that not many work for government, most work for private companies either as entrepreneurs or employed.
Editor – Those in private how do they work?
Doctor – Most private vets work doing advice in farms or in animal health or …….
Editor – How is your contract with the farmers, do you have enough work and enough assistants?
Doctor – I can say that I have a good and plenty work to have a good life, I cannot complain about it because I work in what I love.
Editor – What area, in terms of kilometer squared does your consultancy cover?
Doctor – Unless the laboratory is localized in the north of the country I work all over the country because in my area we are few veterinary and have good demand.
Editor – Are you happy with the Veterinary fees? And how is the prize determined? Do you have government guideline, industry guideline or you just price?
Doctor – My area is a specialized area and we put the price in relation of the industry prices but in other areas the veterinary academy have a tariff for different job that most veterinarian used.
Editor – In your private practice, is there room for attachment or vacation jobs for international veterinary students, say from Lesotho? For a month or two, and at what scale can they get paid?
Doctor – Yes we can receive people from others country for a training internship but cannot pay the students, but can take care of them.
Editor – Who owns the Veterinary School and are there international students studying there?
Doctor – In Uruguay the veterinary school is for the government and is free, you do not need to pay to study there.
The conversation is published more or less verbatim, and the reader might pick that the construction of sentences have Spanish flavour.