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What skills do you need to be a Veterinarian?

#veterinary #veterinarian #animal-health #veterinary-medicine #animals

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Steven’s Answer

Leadership. From day one you'll start running our own small team, you and a few nurses and as you progress you'll have to lead other junior vets and all the nurses kennel hands.

A good memory and be able to quickly come with treatment plans. You'll need to memorize many drugs, conditions and treatment options

Problem solving so you can reach a diagnosis

The ability to work fast and accurately with your hands, from surgery to taking bloods placing ivs and giving drugs this is what vets have to do every hour of every day.

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Nija’s Answer

Good Afternoon,

Please refer to the information below for skills that you need to become a Veterinarian from the website:

Skills Needed to Become a Veterinarian

Veterinarians need to have a variety of skills to offer the best care possible to their patients and clients, including:

  • Attention to detail: Veterinarians need to be methodical and analytical. They must be able to interpret data and think logically to diagnose illness and injury.
  • Compassion: Veterinarians deal with people who may be distraught about a beloved pet's death or illness. They must be able to empathize with an animal's suffering and show care and compassion.
  • Physical strength and stamina:Veterinarians need to lift and move animals during examinations and surgeries and stand for long hours.
  • Technical and scientific aptitude:Veterinarians use technical machinery and have to interpret information from X-rays, reports and blood tests.
  • Excellent communication skills:Veterinarians have to be able to describe sometimes complicated information to members of the public when they may be emotionally upset. They have to clearly explain home care instructions for medicine doses and follow up care in a way that pet owners will understand. They need to write detailed notes and often give their expert opinions in presentations, speeches and reports.  

I hope this information helps you discover your passion to become Veterinarian.

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Kim’s Answer


Having had dogs for 40 years, I totally respect veterinarians. I might joke about it, but, they usually ask 4 questions: is he -eating, drinking, peeing, pooping? and everything starts from there. As a person, we see many different types of doctors - general practitioner, dermatology, orthopedic, pediatric, urology, cardiology, etc. A veterinarian must be well-versed in all of this!

Skills? I will put customer service at the top of the list! You have to be able to connect with your human client the same degree as you do with the animal one. Take the time to help them make decisions. You will encounter many people who choose to put their animal "down" for economic reasons. It is very sad. You have to be able to deal with that in a non-judgmental way. Vet care is really expensive, and people need to get pet insurance! Major illnesses/injuries can easily cost $5000 or more.

You need to be able to get on the floor with an animal, and lift it up off the floor. Strength and flexibility!

If you want to be a solo practitioner, you will need to know how to run a business. Hiring, training, regulatory compliance, record keeping, billing, ordering supplies, etc. A good office manager will probably be a must!

Technological skills. it keeps evolving, you need to keep up with it.

A calm hand if you perform surgeries.

Depending on what you do, it might involve going to conferences, travel, networking, etc. Or, you could be in research, and never have to deal with human customers! Or go into sales, and visit all the vets with the latest medicines and diagnostic tools available!

In spite of what I said above, some vets do in fact specialize, and I have had two dogs who had specialty services. One had spleen cancer. The treatment was great!

If you want to be a vet, I encourage you to start doing anything you can to be around animals as much as possible- perhaps volunteering at a shelter. Also, although Chicago is a long way from Texas, check out our vet program at TAMU - Texas A&M University!!