Based on women vets´ career biographies, it was the object of this study to point out opportunities and impediments encountered in the veterinary profession as well as to investigate women-specific problem areas and explore ways of coping with such difficulties. In this connection, the historic development of the role of women in veterinary medicine was also taken into consideration. So far, apart from giving job-related comments and statistic surveys, women vets were interviewed and asked to fill in questionnaires. These surveys helped primarily in getting a general idea of the professional situation of younger women. Due to the specific type of survey chosen they were, however, inadequate in shedding light upon causes or decision-making processes that have led to specific individual situations that vary from person to person. As to the importance of women vets in history, their numbers and fields of work, only few persons are mentioned in literature. For this reason this study aims, on the one hand, at investigating the history of women in veterinary medicine (chapter 3.2). This is achieved by looking into the biographies of the first women vets - always keeping in mind the stage of development of women education at the time as well as the specific characteristics of the veterinary studies and the profession itself. To this end and in order to find out the names of women vets and students, an investigation was made into directories of vets and into other directories. In addition to this, indexes of doctorates, license publications as well as - restricted to the faculty of Berlin - registration lists and additional documents from the archives were searched. The investigation revealed that, between 1918 and 1945, 55 women, including six from foreign countries, had successfully completed their veterinary studies - this number being much higher than previously indicated in literature. A large number of these first women vets - the majority of them from the educated bourgeousie - chose the town of Berlin for their studies and future doctorate. As one can see from their biographies, they later worked in all veterinarian fields. The majority of them worked in practices, most of all in large animal practice. The effects of wartime and the subsequent post-war period strongly influenced most of their careers. Besides the difficulties produced by the hard times there were, however, also outstanding opportunities. In order to compare the situation in Germany with the one in foreign countries, the beginnings of women veterinary studies abroad were described. In most European countries the first women vets completed their studies at a later time than in Germany (only exceptions: France in 1896 and Britain in 1900). A second aim of this study is to describe individual careers of women vets. In qualitative interviews focusing on the career biographies of women vets having graduated at different time periods and working in different veterinary fields, the technique of "problem-centralized" interviews according to WITZEL (1982) was applied. Using this technique the variety and complexity of the professional life as seen by the individual women vets themselves could be recorded. 25 interviews were analyzed and evaluated. The lives of the three oldest women vets polled (chapter 3.3) have been marked by the hardships of the post-war era - these special circumstances being a determinating factor in both their university studies and curative profession. After evaluating interviews with women vets having graduated between 1958 and 1989 (chapter 3.4), special emphasis was put on describing their ways of coping with common as well as women-specific problems encountered in their careers. Major problem areas turned out to be the difficulty in mixing family life and career, the traditional organization of work and practice in Germany and the acceptability as a women in specific working areas (mostly in large animal practice and in managing positions). In the former GDR, due to extensive governmental regulation, the mixing of family life and cereer was no real problem for women vets as long as the children were not ill. Mothers working full-time was a matter of course. Women vets in the Federal Republic of Germany, however, mostly depend on private regulations. It was not always the case that the women polled voluntarily chose one of the three options: giving up their career altogether or working part or full-time. Single parents who were not able to work part-time and women who wished to continue working full-time but were not sufficiently supported by their companions or spouses had to face many problems. 41 % of the women with family polled had not been able to find a satisfying solution for their personal situation. Nowadays, women are more welcomed and accepted by both their clients and colleagues. Nevertheless, even today and above all in large animal practices, women tend to feel that they have to work harder than men and that they have to prove their ability to assert themselves in order to be accepted as equal. It is less the physical strain but rather the time burden that is mentioned as a problem. The same applies for the fields of science and research. By evaluating the accounts of the women vets polled, it becomes apparent that women may find a satisfying career in all veterinary fields although not every field may be appealing to each individual woman. It is quite common that women work in different fields during their career or change their practice specialization (i.e. the kinds of animals usually treated in a practice). Only 36 % of the women polled stayed in the same field or practice specialization. Weighing all pros and cons, overall career satisfaction usually does not wholly depend on the fact whether the women polled have been able to fulfil their initial dreams and ideas or not. Career dissatisfaction usually results from an incompatibility of family life and career, i.e. the inability to satisfy personal demands with respect to career and personal life. 84 % of the women polled were satisfied with their careers, but only 64 % would definitely study veterinary medicine again if they had the choice. If women vets felt discriminized during their studies, job search, or during their career in general, this was usually not viewed as a political problem but rather as an exception and as a problem to be solved by each person individually. Students and young colleagues should familiarize themselves at an early stage with common and women-specific problems and demands they are likely to encounter during their veterinary careers. By giving these problems serious thought, they may be able to find personal satisfaction and avoid getting dissappointed. This study may be helpful in this way and may also contribute to building-up an awareness of history.