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With wanting to major in veterinarian sciences, what classes do you believe I should focus on the most when attending college and will those classes determine where I can go for med school?

Hello! A little back ground information about me! My name is Emily Salazar and I am currently a high school senior. My dream career is wanting become a veterinarian someday in the future also possibly owning my own clinic! With my love for animals since I was young, I have had this dream since I was five years old and I want to make it come true someday! With this pandemic affecting a lot families around the United States and the world, including my own, I want to have the opportunity to be able to afford to go to college, especially since both of my parents are unemployed at the moment and with my father being diagnosed with caner back in November of 2019, the majority of our money goes towards possible treatments as well as medical bills and I've been trying to get a job for myself but it is really difficult at the moment with my situation, as well as the pandemic playing a role in that.
But one main question that I really wonder is what classes are important to focus on and take in college for my future career? Are there certain requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to go on to medical school? Should I have to worry about taking extra classes or would the school just tell me what classes I need? I am also wondering if the specific class I take will help determine if I get into med school or not. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day! #veterinarian #medical-school #classes #school #vetsciences #student #higher-education #medicine #graduate-school

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Nafatari’s Answer

Hey Emily,
As a science graduate myself (physics) with many of my students that I advise and help them on into graduate school, what was given was great. I am sure you know what you need to take in high school for college as well. Please if you can add some rigor with AP science and math. That will set you up for college level science course work. Biology, Physics, Calculus or Chemistry as you will be taking all of these in college as a science major, Biology/Chemistry major .
I would suggest that whatever Program you get into in college, even if it's not pre-med to make sure you have
General Bio with labs
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Alot of Bio and Chemistry courses.
Now those courses above will determine whether or not you qualify for any graduate program for medical school. Otherwise you will have to take an alternative route into medical school. So don't worry if for some reason your program missed a course. I just had a student graduate with a degree in Neuroscience and couldn't get into her choice graduate school until she took Organic Chemistry.
Not every school one can afford or are interested in will have a pre-med or vet science program. If you end up with a high interest in a school like this, just make sure you major in chemistry or biology. That will ensure all your pre-reqs for med school are fulfilled.
You will also make sure that you spend time at at Vet hospital either as a volunteer or summer employment or pt work. There are plenty of ways to intern with animals and on farms. Be creative and don't ever be scared to ask how can you be a part of a team you see...such as a farm or even over seas programs. Study abroad and remember animals need help every where. Look up farms in your area and see what programs they have with colleges or just for students. I take my middle school students to a farm for a week, they did oceanography the next week and then did dissection another week. I did this program with them after looking into farms in my area.

The next thing you want to do to ensure medical school qualifications is take 1 year to study for the MCATs. Do not treat this test like most students do the SATs with lack luster study habits. Take your time and use the online resources available.
Make sure if you can that your college offers free courses in graduate school tests. I know the University of Delaware does and several other schools do as well. Princeton review offers free course too. Take advantage of them. Take actual practice tests. My peers and I did this for the GRE and the MCATs and we all scores where we needed too attend top medical schools and in my case physics programs. They are all doctors in various fields. Just remember if you score low, you can still go to medical school.

Hopefully this helps along with what my colleagues stated.
Good luck. Great question. Continue to ask them.

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Julie’s Answer

Hi Emily,

I'm so sorry to hear about your family. Pets have become an even more important part of our society during COVID with the emotional support they provide, and I think it's awesome that you haven't lost your spirit and desire to become a veterinarian.

As far as reaching your goals, Wayne provided some great information. Once you get to college your advisor will provide additional information as far as specific classes you will need to take, which vary depending on the school. Beyond the vet school prerequisites, I encourage you to think about taking classes that fulfill other interests. I was actually a creative writing major when I went to college, and ended up going back to school later to get my science prerequisites for vet school. I still love the arts and use my writing major every day when I communicate with clients and pursue other projects outside of clinical practice. Just like every profession, veterinarians are more than just their jobs, and pursuing your hobbies and learning about areas outside of science will keep you from getting burned out in school and help achieve better work/ life balance in the future. It will also likely give you a leg up when you're applying to vet school as they want to find out what sets you apart from other candidates.

Good luck and I wish you and your family the best.

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Wayne’s Answer

Hi Emily. Sorry to hear that the pandemic has had such a severe impact to your family. Hope that things get better soon.

According to the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine [https://vet.purdue.edu/dvm/high-school.php], if you are interested in a career in veterinary medicine and are now planning your High School schedule, you are strongly encouraged to complete:
- 4 years mathematics - algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus
- 4 years laboratory sciences - biology, chemistry, physics
- 4 years English composition
- Other courses - to round out your education are dependent upon the college / university to which you wish to be admitted

In addition, you need to participate in activities that help you research and experience any career; but specifically for Veterinary Medicine, they recommend:
- General animal - 4-H animal projects, humane society, zoo, racetrack, livestock farm, etc.
- Veterinary work - hands-on work under the supervision of a veterinarian

The link below gives you more details of what you need to become a vet.

How to Go to Vet School and Become a Veterinarian -- https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/how-to-apply-to-veterinary-school-and-become-a-veterinarian

Take care and good luck!

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Joan’s Answer

Emily, it looks like Nefatari gave a very detailed answer. I would also add calculus and statistics.