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How many years of school do you need to become a vet?

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#veterinary-medicine #animals #veterinary-technician

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Tania’s Answer

A veterinarian who is trained in the USA earns a DVM (Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine) or a VMD (Veterinary Medical Doctor). This requires 4 years of veterinary medical school after 4 -5 years of college or university to earn a BS. There are some veterinary schools that will admit an application after only 2-3 year of undergraduate, though. All candidates must complete all of the vet school prerequisite classes--get excellent grades (GPA 3.5 or above) and GRE test scores-- and have good hands-on experience working with animals in a clinical or research setting.

Veterinarians who are trained in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand go to vet school right out of secondary/high school. They attend veterinary school for 5 years and graduate with a BVetSci (bachelors of veterinary science). While Americans can (and do) attend these schools, Americans do so after obtaining a Bachelor's in Science at a state-side 4 yr college or university before attending these international schools.

Being a veterinarian takes as much school as being a medical doctor/physician. Many veterinarians even go on to complete a 1 year internship and 3-4 years of residency to specialize. And even once a veterinarian is out of school and practicing, she/he is still always learning by reading and attending conferences.

Tania recommends the following next steps:

https://www.avma.org/public/Careers/Pages/vet-school-admission-101.aspx
https://www.aavmc.org/students-applicants-and-advisors/prevetfaq.aspx
Thank you comment icon Dr. Hunt, your advice is very insightful and encouraging. I have a niece that is currently in Vet Medical School. Thank you for your comments. Sheila Jordan
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Michael’s Answer

Sorry, Maya, for having taken several days to respond. I guess there was a reason for this and allows me to communicate the essential message: Veterinary schooling is long. When I went to school, it was four years of college and four years of vet school (graduate school). I think that most places still operate like this. There were and are ways to go to a university that offers both undergraduate and vet school programs and hence speed up the undergraduate program by focusing on veterinary prerequisite courses (finish in three years, instead of four). Some people, like myself, will take a year off between college and vet school in order to do something else. A good percentage of graduates will do an internship or residence to get added clinical or research experience. They will have their DVM/VMD but are not quite ready to hit the job market yet. My colleague Tania's answer explains this well, especially as it impacts people in other countries. A couple of my brightest vet school class mates started out as vet technicians, gaining experience in large or small animal practice, probably during that time after a college. This reminds me that I had very little experience with horses and was able to take riding lessons in my second and third year of vet school which allowed me to be around the horses, learn basic husbandry techniques, and just get comfortable around them so that by the time I was in the clinical rotations in my third and fourth year I would remain focused on the medical and surgical aspects I had to learn.
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