You can start now to prepare for a career in veterinary medicine. A student who is interested in becoming a veterinarian should select courses in science as early as high school and discuss details for a suitable academic program with a guidance counsellor. Science courses such as biology, chemistry and physics form a good foundation. Optional course in humanities and social sciences are also recommended as well as a strong back ground in mathematics. If working in a clinic and setting up your own private practice interests you, then it would be wise to consider taking courses in business administration.
To obtain the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) a minimum of six years of university education is required. This involves two years of pre-veterinary study at a regular university.
The day to day work of veterinarians involves examining animals, making diagnoses, doing blood tests or x-rays, treating diseases or injuries, performing surgery and preventing animal illness through vaccinations. Vets educate human owners about how to feed, breed and care for their animals. They might also be called upon to help very old, sick animals die in a relatively pain-free manner.
Vets can specialize in the care and treatment of either small or large animals. Those who deal with small animals such as dogs, cats, birds or reptiles usually work in cities and have owners brings their animals to a clinic or office. Large animal veterinarians who work with horses, cows, pigs and other farm animals often have a mobile practice visiting farms and traveling all over the countryside.