Before applying to veterinary school, prospective veterinarians should consider obtaining a bachelor's degree in biology, animal science, or a related field. This will provide them with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to help them in their future careers.
To practice veterinary medicine after completing their DVM degree, new graduates must pass a licensing exam. Some people may choose to do a one-year internship or a two-year residency program in a specific area of veterinary medicine, such as surgery or animal behavior. This additional training can assist them in gaining more experience and expertise in a specific field.
Interested individuals can seek information on the path to becoming a veterinarian from organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), and the National Association of Veterinary Technologists in America (NAVTA). These organizations can provide information and resources about veterinary education, training, and careers.
I'm married to a Vet Tech who had a unique pathway to their work, which started with an Associates Degree in communications that was used working in copywriting for a large telecomm company. The company they were at shifted and they decided to apply to work for a local veterinary hospital as a front desk / customer service adminstrator. What they realized is that they loved working with animals and their caretakers.
They chose to go to get their Associates in Vet Tech at a professional 2-year school while working part-time at the clinic. When it was time to get apprenticeship / internship time, they worked at that clinic (which was awesome) and on graduation, took a role working with the SPCA/Humane Society.
Fast forward 10 years and they have explored the veterinary space - working in shelter, research hospitals (with animals), emergency clinics, private practice, and even volunteering as an aquarium diver at the local aquarium! Recently, they landed on pursuing a specialty in animal dentistry.
It's been so excited to watch their path - and all the stops on the way - it's a broad field, so do explore, be curious and continue to grow and learn!
These types of experiences help you understand the profession and whether you want to pursue veterinary medicine, and they will be important for your future vet school application. Other than that, Richard's answer gives you a good overview of what else is required to be a veterinarian.
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