Veterinary Responsibilities and Opportunities
The veterinary profession is one that requires a lot of responsibilities and duties. The training is as rigorous as the human medical profession. Veterinary medicine branches out with a number of different specialties such as Surgery or Equine Health or Veterinary Ophthalmology. Veterinarians can work anywhere from a small animal practice that deals only with cats and dogs to farms with produce animals to zoos and even in the food industry. There are teaching positions as well.
The Commitment to the Profession
When considering becoming a veterinarian, you should be aware that you are embarking on the adventure of your life. You will help people get their beloved animal back healthy and happy, but this will require a tremendous amount of effort, time and even money from you. You will need to become a perpetual student, always continuing your education and reading about the newest techniques, drugs and research available in order to provide the most up to date and best possible medical care to your patients. Not only does this profession require time to study, but the work hours are long and often there may be emergencies.
How to Become a Veterinarian
Becoming a veterinarian in and of itself can be challenging. Just getting into a vet school can be challenging. There are only a few schools in the United States with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) listing only 28 schools in the U.S. To become a veterinarian, you will need to hold a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. This means that after high school, you will need to get an undergraduate degree and then the Doctorate. That is at least 8 to 10 years of school.
Undergraduate degree - You can go to any college, though it may be easier if you take an undergraduate course at a school that has the veterinary doctorate degree. It is important in your college undergraduate course to take a pre-vet curriculum or something similar with emphasis in math and sciences. Keep your grades up and get as much experience in the veterinary field as possible. When the time comes, you will need to apply to the veterinary school and you will need to show your commitment to the field. Each school will vary in requirements for entrance and you should look at your options for more information.
The Veterinary profession is a noble one. Healing animals and getting them back to their families can be the best feeling in the world, but it does require a large commitment. The long hours and stress is not for everybody. The field is a good one and is expanding into new areas all the time. It can always use new blood. Since you are interested in how to be a veterinarian, we hope to see you in this exciting field!