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What is the most important thing about studying to be a veterinarian?

I am wondering what information I should know or is not really necessary. #veterinarian #animals #vet #veterinary #veterinary-medicine

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Francesco’s Answer

I have several friends who hope to. E vets and they told me you need to have a gpa at least 3.8, good letters of recommendations, and several years of volunteer work.

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Krista’s Answer

I wish I could say there was one thing that was more important than the rest but unfortunately there isn't just one thing. I will narrow it down a little bit though to help.

If you mean in regards to what factual information you need to know:

CLASSES TO TAKE: Typically a biology major in college will cover a lot of the pre-requisites required for veterinary school. You can also check out the APVMA Pre-Requisite course requirement table to figure out other courses that are important to take for veterinary school. So while it might seem like you need to know EVERYTHING, don't worry, most veterinary schools know that you don't. You will start off with more theoretical classes in your first two years which will cover the information you need to know and then you will be doing more hands-on practicing in your second two years.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: (Disclaimer: this will vary depending on the type of vet you want to be.) It will work in your favor to know general dog and cat breeds. It will also work in your favor to know the general anatomy of dogs and cats (the eyes, ears, mouth, how to tell male from female, etc.). It might also be favorable to know general foods that are not safe for dogs and cats to eat. Working in a veterinary clinic will certainly be beneficial and provide you with additional information that will be helpful.

If you mean what general information you need to know:

EXPERIENCE: Experience is extremely important to vet schools. They want to make sure you have hands-on experience working or shadowing in a vet clinic. Knowing you have experience shows them that you understand the commitment and demand required for veterinary work.

WORK ETHIC: Doing well in school is important but not having a 3.8 GPA doesn't mean that you've failed at life. Typically what they look for are strong grades. This means if you start out rough, they want to see that as you progress through school you begin to do better. So while you might start off with a 3.2 GPA they are looking to see that you worked hard to boost your GPA to a 3.6 or better throughout your college career. Some veterinary schools are starting to look at their applicants holistically, which means they aren't looking at just your grades. As long as you have a good work ethic, get into a strong schedule, and STUDY, you be on the right path towards vet school.

WELL ROUNDED: Vet schools want to see that you are well rounded. This means they want to see that you do other things outside of working at vet clinics and studying. Picking up hobbies, sports, and other activities can make you well rounded and show that while you are dedicated to becoming a veterinarian, that isn't your only personality trait.

KNOW WHY YOU WANT TO BE A VET: This is EXTREMELY important to know for vet school. Typical answers include "I love animals" and "I don't like working with people". THIS IS NOT WHAT VET SCHOOLS WANT TO HEAR! While it is nice that you love animals, vet schools want to know what drives you to continue to work even when the going gets tough. Therefore a more reasonable answer might be, "I want to be able to use my knowledge and skills to provide the best medical treatment in order to help the wellbeing of as many animals as I can." I strongly encourage you to know YOUR OWN reason why you want to be a vet. Taking time to learn this about yourself is super important as it will not only help with veterinary school applications but it will also help drive you to continue to pursue this challenging, but rewarding career. (Another Disclaimer: as a veterinarian, you WILL work with people A LOT, in fact probably more than other careers, so saying you don't like people is a RED FLAG to vet schools!)

Hopefully this helps!
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