How to become a veterinarian

  • Veterinarians are professionals who diagnose and treat ill and injured animals by providing necessary medical care including prescribing medicines, performing surgeries and dressing wounds if any.  There are different types of vets who specialize in different areas. They might have their own expertise in different kinds of vet medicines or a group of animals. Vets may have to diagnose animals, give vaccinations to patients and provide health care advices to pet owners. They may also have to conduct research in various areas of biomedical science. Usually vets have to work for long hours and should be willing to work in certain emergency situations.

  • Veterinarian job requirements

    To enter the veterinary field, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree program and must earn a 4 year Veterinary program certificate. When you have completed the medicine program, you will become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). After earning a DVM, you must get actual license and should work in animal clinics, zoos or local farms.

    Most of the schools offering veterinary medicine programs required candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. Most of vet schools don’t have a major in the field, but some schools offer courses in biological science. Other schools simply offer courses which includes general physics, biology, chemistry and some math. There are a few schools which offer advanced science courses such as animal behavior, mammalogy or biochemistry. While doing the degree education, it is beneficial if you participate in internship or volunteer programs in the wet fields. Doing internships in a clinical setting will help the students to have an idea of what the vet job is really like. All the vet programs require some real experience of working with animals and internship can make students more competitive in the field.

    Students also have the option to join a pre-veterinary club that focuses on vet medicine. The vet clubs will have meetings and seminars where the members will discuss about various topics including shadowing programs and career topics and resources for internship. Another thing regarding vet medical education is that, most of the schools require their students to have good Graduate Record Exam score (GRE). GRE exam is a measure of a student’s ability to take graduate level education.

    In Veterinary Medicine education, each successive year study builds upon the previous year’s study curriculum. The initial years focus on basic science topics like nutrition, animal anatomy and other related topics. Most of the courses are specific to animal groups and they lay a basic framework for vet medicine knowledge. The third year, mostly focuses on clinical study where students learn practical experience by interacting with the patients. This is the time when students gain real practical knowledge by implementing the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the previous year’s education. In the last year, students usually spent their time in doing Externships and applied experiences.

    Veterinarian licensure

    Graduates of veterinary medicine must be licensed in order to practice in the vet field. Most of the states require the students to successfully clear the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. In certain states, additional exams which are state specific should also be completed.

    Veterinarian experience

    After earning license in the vet field, students must choose to gain practical experience in the field by doing an internship for almost a year before applying for a permanent job post. Most of the vet doctors work with small animals in private clinical setting. Only a small percent of veterinarians will choose to specialize in working with large exotic animals or zoo animals. Veterinarians also have the opportunity to join in national or state professional associations. Professional membership benefit includes access to professional connections, latest veterinary news and newsletters.

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