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What are the educational requirements that lead to your career as a veterinarian?

This question was asked anonymously by a junior in Utah. They are interested in becoming a veterinarian

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Erik’s Answer

At a high level, you need good grades in high school and college, then good grades in college, to make it into a good vet school.
That's the happy path. UC Davis, in California, is an example of a very good vet school.

That said, i have a friend who is a vet, and always wanted to be a vet. But her path there was not straightforward: She went to college, and got a BS in Animal Science, with a focus on Veterinary Medicine.
Then, for vet school, while she was not accepted at the very competitive schools, she did get accepted to the University College of Dublin (in Ireland). She got her degree there, as well as an international experience, and then came home and had to take the local state exams for her license.

She has since worked in New York City, and other states....

Try volunteering or working at a vet clinic as well, to make sure this is a job path you like.

Erik recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of colleges with Veterinary programs
Try volunteering or working at a vet clinic as well, to make sure this is a job path you like.
For fun, have you watched Bondi Vet on youtube? https://www.youtube.com/@BondiVet
Learn about scholarship programs at the colleges with Vet programs
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Dionte’s Answer

Becoming a veterinarian typically involves several educational steps. Here are the general educational requirements:

1. **Bachelor's Degree:** Obtain a bachelor's degree in a related field. While there is no specific major required, most aspiring veterinarians choose a program with a strong emphasis on biological sciences, such as biology, animal science, or biochemistry.

2. **Prerequisite Courses:** Complete prerequisite courses. Veterinary schools often require specific coursework in areas like biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. These courses help build a strong foundation for the veterinary curriculum.

3. **Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT):** Take the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT). Similar to the MCAT for medical school, the VCAT assesses your readiness for veterinary school. Achieving a competitive score is crucial for admission.

4. **Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program:** Enroll in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. This professional degree program typically takes four years to complete. It includes a combination of classroom instruction, laboratory work, and clinical experience.

5. **Clinical Rotations:** During the DVM program, students participate in clinical rotations, gaining hands-on experience in different areas of veterinary medicine. This practical training is an integral part of the education.

6. **Licensing Exam:** After completing the DVM program, graduates must pass the licensing examination required by the licensing board in the state or country where they intend to practice.

7. **Optional Internship or Residency:** Some veterinarians choose to pursue internships or residencies in specific specialties to gain additional expertise. This is optional but can enhance career opportunities in specialized fields.

8. **State Licensing:** Obtain state licensure. Licensing requirements vary by location, so it's important to check and fulfill the specific licensing requirements of the state or country where you plan to practice.

9. **Specialization (Optional):** Veterinarians can choose to specialize in areas such as surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, etc. Achieving board certification in a specialty involves additional training and examinations.

It's essential to research and consider the specific requirements of the veterinary schools you are interested in, as some programs may have additional prerequisites or unique admission criteria.
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