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What do i need to become an aspiring veterinarian?

I am about to graduate from highschool and I want to know what i should do if I want to get closer to being a veterinarian without alot of experience.

Thank you comment icon To get the best ideas. Job shadow some veterinarians and ask them personally. They have the best ideas for what to do without and with experience. Courtney Pollard

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Rochishni’s Answer

I would first establish a LinkedIn presence and start looking at Petco or similar stores that have in house veterinarians! I know many who have had luck gettin mentored/worked for such companies without having an undergraduate degree. You will absolutely gain the experience you will require that way!
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Josh:

A Veterinarian will need to complete a Bachelor of Science degree (four year undergraduate course work). While in college, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a Veterinary career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. Also, if an Animal or Wildlife course is offered, it will be in your best interest to take this class. For math, algebra, calculus and statistics will be needed. The combination of these concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration among team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a Veterinarian, communication is essential and critical when dealing with clients and patients. A college course in Public Speaking, Communication and English will help with one's communication and writing skills.

Afterwards, one's education is continued until a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M. or V.M.D) is earned which will be another four years of study. Then, both the national and state exams are required for one to earn the licenses to practice Veterinary medicine.

According to U.S. News & World Report, here is a link to the Best Veterinary Colleges and Universities in the United States:

- University of California - Davis
- Cornell University
- Colorado State University
- North Carolina State University
- Ohio State University
- Texas A&M University - College Station
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Wisconsin - Madison
- University of Florida
- University of Georgia
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/veterinarian-rankings?_sort=rank-asc

While in college, here are some undergraduate degrees to major in order to become a Veterinarian:

- Organic Chemistry
- Biochemistry
- Biology
- Zoology
- Physics
- Animal or Wildlife Science
- Chemistry

It will be best to seek advice from your high school guidance counselor as well as teachers to help you focus your interests for a specific major in college. Another recommendation is to visit your local animal hospital and speak with the Veterinarian for additional advice. The Veterinarian can provide you with his or her educational background, experience, insights, etc. on how he or she became a Veterinarian.

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

There are scholarships based on need, academic performance, school activities, sports involvement and community service. So, it will be to your advantage to seek out these types of scholarships. All of the academic staff at your high school that you interact with can write letters of recommendations for you based on what was just stated above. These recommendations can greatly help when filling out college and scholarship applications. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.

You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.

Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:

https://www.mometrix.com/blog/scholarships-for-college/

https://www.nchchonors.org/students/awards-scholarships/national-scholarships

Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.

Best wishes for your education and career path as a Veterinarian!
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Julia’s Answer

As someone about to graduate high school, I would look up as much knowledge as possible. I would also recommend talking to teachers or your parents to ask if they know any veterinarians and if you can shadow one of them. If neither of your parents knows a veterinarian, I would still try to ask if you can shadow one to see how the jobs are done and get a different outlook/perspective on it. Also, I would use good websites that can give you more base knowledge on Veterinarians and everything that is most important for this job. Finally, I would try LinkedIn and see if you can connect to any current college students studying what you want to and ask them questions.
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