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Veterinary Medicine and Vet tech. (Anything to do with veterinarians)

How do veterinarians usually start their careers?

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Richard’s Answer

Becoming a veterinarian necessitates a significant time and effort investment, but the rewards of a rewarding career in animal care are well worth it. The path to becoming a veterinarian begins with earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited veterinary college. These programs usually last four years and include both classroom instruction and hands-on experience in clinical settings.

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.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Anna
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Vee’s Answer

Great question!

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!

GOOD LUCK!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your input. I am looking forward to learning more and more about veterinary medicine and animals. Anna
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Jordyn’s Answer

Most veterinarians start with some kind of shadowing or volunteer experience. My first experience was through my high school's Youth Apprenticeship Program through which I was able to spend a few of my school hours every day shadowing and essentially "volunteering" at my local veterinary office for school credit during my last semester of high school. Other entry level jobs include: kennel staff, day care/boarding worker, groomer, receptionist, and animal shelter or rescue volunteer. Many people start here and train to become a veterinary technician in order to get more medical experience before applying to veterinary school. Additionally, many clinics are open to having pre-veterinary students shadow and if it's a good fit, some will consider hiring you part time or over summer breaks if you are a student. Through undergraduate degree programs, there are often internships, classes, clubs, and other animal-related experiences that you can pursue while in school.

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.

Jordyn recommends the following next steps:

Find a way to get experience in the veterinary field OR working with animals.
Try the following link for more information: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/admissions/so-you-want-be-veterinarian
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