How To Become A Veterinarian
What Is Required To Become A Veterinarian?
This article will fill you in on how to become a veterinarian. Being accepted to a veterinary program isn't even the first step of the journey. Preparation starts years before with exposure to and experience with animals on an informal basis.
Then, after years of study, a prospective veterinarian must receive the DVM degree from an accredited four-year college of veterinary medicine. The standards are set by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Even after earning the DVM degree, before veterinarians may begin practicing, they must pass a national board examination -- the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam -- covering clinical competency. Furthermore, they must pass a state examination over state laws and regulations. Each state is different, so a vet who relocates must take the new state's exam. Most states also require continuing education to keep licensure up to date.
If you're not frightened off by what is required to become a veterinarian, you can have a successful and fulfilling career caring for the health of animals.
What Does It Take To Become A Veterinarian
Veterinary preparation starts even before college, with gaining experience in the veterinary field. While a prospective student can't perform the duties of a veterinarian, you can volunteer with a local vet to gain exposure to the discipline. As a volunteer, you may be responsible for cleaning cages, ministering to the animals' socialization needs, or helping in the office.
Then, commit yourself to the idea that you will be in school for a long time. Successful graduation from college with a science major or from a pre-vet program is only the start, and half-hearted efforts are not enough. Going beyond the minimum by taking part in extra-curricular activities, especially when they involve animals, will convince a veterinary school that you have what it takes.
How Do You Become a Veterinarian?
Requirements For Veterinary School
Of course, demonstrating a love of animals and a concern for their well-being is the very first requirement for vet school. Veterinary colleges consider the prospective student's experience and dedication when deciding who to admit to the veterinary program. Every veterinary school may have its own specific requirements. It helps to know ahead of time what each will look for in a student.
It's best if you can attend a college with a pre-veterinary program. Biology, chemistry, physics, and nutrition are some of the courses you will take. It's also important to study English and business classes, because the prospective vet must be able to get along and communicate well with people.
The requirements for veterinary school are usually a bachelor's degree, but sometimes 45 to 90 credit hours at the undergraduate level is accepted. There are also a variety of tests that may be required, depending on the college. These may be the Graduate Record Examination, the Veterinary College Admission Test, or the Medical College Admission Test.
How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Veterinarian?
It takes years of school to become a veterinarian. Requirements start with four years of college, with a major in some sort of science. Biology or biochemistry are good base courses for a future in veterinary science.
Next, veterinary college adds four more years of schooling to the journey to become a veterinarian. In your veterinary studies you will learn more science and get hands-on experience with the tasks required of a vet.
This is where you can decide to specialize in a particular aspect of the profession, and perhaps serve an internship with an experienced veterinarian. Those who do wish to specialize go on to complete a residency program of three to four years before receiving board certification.
Best Schools For Veterinarians
With competition for admission being so high, it has been said that the best school for veterinarians is the one you can get into. However, when you are just beginning your veterinary school search, it is helpful to have some sort of guideline to give you a direction in which to start.
There is actually no official ranking system to sort out the best veterinary schools. All of the vet schools in the United States must meet the same standards to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The only ranking is done by U.S. News and World Report, and is on a peer assessment basis, which is entirely voluntary.
Study the information at the U.S. News and World Report site to see which school offers what you want. Then visit Students Review to find out what past students think about those schools. A little research will serve you well, and you'll feel confident that you are applying to the best veterinary school to start your learning how to become a veterinarian.
Veterinarian Continuing Education...Continues
Even after you graduate and have earned your veterinarian's license, don't expect your schooling to end. Veterinarian schooling requirements continue forever. New diseases, treatments, and techniques arise over time, and veterinarians must stay current.
They do this by taking continuing education courses, attending seminars, and subscribing to veterinary medicine journals. Not only do you need to know how to become a veterinarian, but also how to remain one.