Should I Become A Veterinarian ?

How Do You Become A Veterinarian ?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

Lots of my articles are plagiarized and altered on the web to market products and services. There are never ads running or anything for sale with my real articles. Try to stay with the ones that begin with in the URL box or find all my articles at ACC.htm.

The veterinary market place is changing. I wrote this article a number of years ago; at a time when non-corporate small-group veterinary practices were the rule, when a young dedicated veterinarian's income was more assured, when veterinary education costs were still reasonable, when the sales pitch and the up-sell were less important and when the stress level in a typical practice was lower for a variety of other reasons. If you are considering becoming a veterinarian in 2016, consider it a calling, - like the ministry or priesthood - rather than a typical professional vocation. If you want me to expand on that Write to me. If you are a young vet or are contemplating being one and want to add a comment, write to me and I will post it here.

You are unlikely to get that sort of information from the AVMA or the staff and councilors at American veterinary schools because their jobs depend on a steady stream of new applicants. Young veterinarians, entering the profession in 2016 can expect a salary similar to that of a physician's assistant - about 33% of what a similarly trained human physician might earn - but at the same educational cost .(ref1, ref2) I'll post other articles on the subject as I come across them : (ref1, ref2, ref3)

I decided I would become a veterinarian when I was seven years old. It is not uncommon for veterinarians to find their calling that young.

Veterinary medicine is a rewarding career for individuals who have empathy for both animals and the clients who own them. You can have terrific animal empathy and not be happy in private veterinary practice and you can have great human empathy and not be happy in practice. You must have them both.

Approximately two thirds of the graduates of U.S. veterinary colleges go into private practice. The rest teach, conduct scientific studies, work for pharmaceutical houses, state and federal animal agencies or the armed forces . there is an option there for you if you want the close relationship with animals without the inter-personal skills required in general practice. More than half the current graduates of U.S. veterinary schools are female. Men went on to more lucrative careers. Also, the number of veterinary graduates that go on for advanced specialty training is increasing steadily.

The trade organization for veterinarians is the American Veterinary Medical Association AVMA . It represents about 70,000 veterinarians in the United States. There are approximately twenty-seven accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the United States, four in Canada and thirty-one in Mexico. All U.S. and Canadian veterinary curricula are four years long. Admission to veterinary college in the U.S. usually requires a four-year degree in the sciences or a satisfactory number of courses in the sciences. High grades are required for admission - especially in the areas of biology and chemistry.

Competition for student class positions is keen because there are always more candidates than slots. Because of this competition, many students elect to study abroad. Common destinations are offshore veterinary schools in the Caribbean such as Ross University. Students that attend U.S. veterinary schools must pass a clinical competency test upon graduation as well as a national board examination. Those graduating from foreign schools other than Canada and a few select European schools must also take a special examination for foreign graduates as well as a test in English proficiency. Most veterinarians earn between sixty and one hundred and ten thousand dollars a year. Most of us carry our medical and malpractice insurance through the A.V.M.A. We tend to be conservative in our habits, self-motivated achievers who are people oriented, perfectionist, and workaholics. These traits do not; of course characterize the whole of the profession. But they are characteristic of all the medical professions.

If you are considering becoming a veterinarian, I suggest that you work for a veterinarian for a number of years. Most veterinary students worked summers or after school in veterinary hospitals. The cost of a degree in veterinary medicine (DVM. or VMD) is high and it is hard to justify the cost of our education based on a return of investment. But return on investment is not something most veterinarians consider early in their careers. Since few of us have this money readily available, I suggest that pre-veterinary students get their undergraduate degree in a field such as registered nursing. This allows them to generate income as they go to pay for veterinary school tuition. It also gives them an excellent profession if they do not complete veterinary school.

I love veterinary medicine and I have never regretted the career choice I made. There are still veterinarian jobs in the USA that would appeal to me if I was just starting out; in towns too small to have a Walmart, in Humane Society setting, in advanced specialty practice or in the forefront of veterinary research.