Veterinarians are the ones who treat sick and injured domestic pets including dogs, rabbits, cats, birds and other small animals. For all vets, earning a professional degree in the specific field along with a state license is a must.
Veterinarian education – prerequisites and curriculum
Candidates who are interested in taking up the profession of a veterinarian must complete formal education and training. Before applying for an educational course in a vet college, you must complete four year undergraduate courses at universities or schools. As there are only a few vet colleges, admission to the course is a selective process. Applicants who have taken a GRE exam or similar test will have more priority than students who doesn’t have a GRE qualification. However, it can take up to eight years for a student to become a professional veterinarian.
The vet medicine curriculum is a vast area which includes everything about animals. It includes lectures, seminars, lab studies and course work in various fields related to animals. Students will have to learn about anatomy of animals, their behavior, anesthesiology, medical ethics and animal oncology. In the final year of formal education, student will learn about working in actual clinical settings. After completing the graduation, students will receive the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine certificate.
Veterinarian education – internship, residency options and license
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most of the aspiring candidates who want to become veterinarians must complete internships after graduating from a vet school. These internship which is for one year is usually unpaid internship but it provides supervised training to work in clinics. This training will definitely help the graduates in obtaining high salarieswhen they get an actual job. Aspiring veterinarians can also complete a three year residency course and become board certified in any appropriate specialization.
Most of the states require vets to obtain license in the field before they can practice on animals. To obtain license, all students must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing exam. The exam is a computer based one which is administrated by the national board of vet medical examiners. While, some states require the candidates to clear state-administrated exams on vet law and clinical aptitude. Even after obtaining license, veterinarians must continue the education to renew and maintain the license.
Other than normal bachelor’s degree, there are some schools which offer dual degree courses in which the candidates can earn their doctor of vet medicine degree along with a separate master’s degree. The master degree will vary in different fields including biomedical science and public health. According to the nature of the course, schools have different admission requirements. Some students want their students to have a bachelor’s degree while other schools accepts students who have already enrolled to their doctor of vet medicine program. Students will have to compete course works that helps to implement the doctor of vet medicine program. In most of the cases, coursework differsbased on the selected double degree. Generally the course topics are infectious diseases, anatomy, epidemiology, biostatics etc. along with research projects.
Some veterinarians also pursue PHD qualification if they are interested in working in research and further education. There are universities which offers dual doctor of vet medicine degree programs and PHD programs. Typically, both of these programs includes extensive research had thesis projects in vet field.