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How has the requirements to be a veterinarian changed over the last 15 years to now?


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Jyoti’s Answer

Hi Elif,
I am not a veterinarian, but a career advisor, so I do hope that a practicing veterinarian will also answer this question for you and share their experiences as a subject matter expert. I can share information only in general terms from research I have conducted when working with students in college in the US. The American Veterinary Medical Association has established educational requirements for the field of veterinary medicine since before 2005, so the degree requirement of a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine has not changed as a requirement to practice as a licensed veterinarian. However, what has changed is the increased diversity of 'tracks' within the programs offered at colleges where students can specialize in certain animal species or kinds of medical practices for animals. Within the last 5-7 years there has also been an increased interest and usage of herbal medicine and cannabidiol (CBD) to treat animal illness symptoms so veterinarians can pursue additional education on the practices of this kind of medicine. Another big change is that doctoral degree programs have become very competitive and have limited space available so students must be well-prepared academically (top grades), have good internship experiences and volunteer experiences to be most qualified. I hope this helps but please let me know if you have any other questions.
Kindly,
Jyoti

Thank you! Elif K.

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Kemba’s Answer

I agree with Jyoti's answer. I would strongly encourage anyone looking to enter veterinary school to contact the school well in advance and understand prerequisite course work, volunteer hours/community service and hands on animal experience requirements. As a practicing veterinarian I can tell you that it is highly competitive and schools are looking for well rounded applicants that have a high GPA and good community service with some indication of your leadership abilities. So for example if you started volunteering at an animal shelter/zoo/private practice you want to show that you received progressively more responsibilities. Also you will need strong letters of recommendation from practicing veterinarians so I recommend you tell your volunteer organization early that you are looking for a letter of recommendation to ensure scheduling allows you to work closely with the person writing the letter. I would finally say your personal statement has to be much more than "i love animals" so really sit with that and start writing down what is it about veterinary medicine that calls you to the profession and what do you see yourself adding to the profession. Best of luck its a great challenge and reward to do what you love everyday.

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Nirah’s Answer

Requirements have not changed. You need to graduate from an accredited veterinary school and pass the national veterinary board exam, and then to practice in any particular state you also need to pass the state board exam. The entry requirements to get into veterinary school are also generally the same, as is the course of study. Compared to 20 or 25 years ago, there are some more electives and specialized tracks, but things are really pretty much the same.

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