The path to becoming a veterinarian is tough, just like with any other medical courses. Aspiring veterinarians have to battle it out for years before finally becoming a full-fledged vet.
Veterinarian Programs – DVM
Veterinarians must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree at any accredited veterinarian college in the country. There are only 29 of these accredited programs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so students may even need to relocate to the areas where these schools are. These programs usually need four years to complete and consist of classroom lectures, laboratory programs, and clinical internship.
Most veterinary school applicants have a bachelor’s degree even if it is not required. They are encouraged to take a lot of science classes, such as biology, anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, zoology, physiology, and animal science, among others. These veterinary science programs also involve a lot of math, social science, and humanities courses.
However, it is quite a challenge to get accepted into veterinary programs. In 2012, around 50% of the applicants were rejected.
Once accepted into the program, students have to study normal animal anatomy and physiology and disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Around three years of these programs are spent in the classroom, laboratory, and clinic. The last year is often spent completing clinical rotations in a veterinary hospital or medical center. More veterinary medicine programs today include courses in career development and general business management to help veterinarians establish their own private practice.
Veterinarian Education Prerequisites
The typical requirements of DVM programs include GRE scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and academic transcripts. These programs don’t necessarily require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in a veterinary program, but applicants are required to complete a certain number of undergraduate credit hours. However, the BLS has reported that most applicants to DVM programs have a bachelor’s degree. Veterinarian schools also give more advantage to applicants who have volunteered or worked in veterinary hospitals or clinics.
DVM programs are usually a combination of classroom-based lectures and clinical work. Typical topics include anatomy and physiology, parasitology and virology, immunology, diagnostic imaging, anesthesia and surgery, small and large animal medicine, and bovine herd and equine medicine.