Many people love taking care of animals, so it only seems natural to seek a career as a vet. If you’re in this situation, you might wonder about the necessary steps to attend veterinary school and obtain the proper certification. Continue reading for all the vital information.
Apply for an undergraduate degree
Like many other professions, veterinary medicine requires you to undertake courses pursuing an undergraduate degree. However, you may be required to gain this degree in specific courses to make you eligible to specialize. One of the easiest ways to understand all these requirements is via the help of a counselor. Almost all top universities have a college admissions help center with college admissions counselors that assist with new student orientation to help you reach your intended career goals.
While in university, and immediately after you graduate, you’re encouraged to gain as much work experience as possible. Most of the applicants into veterinary school come with lots of work hours under their belts, working with different kinds of animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. These job shadowing sessions and internships are a great way to know whether this is the right course for you. The experiences show that loving animals is not the only thing needed for the job; other skills like service, passion for science, teamwork, and compassionate care are required.
Apply to veterinary programs
The best part of going through an internship is that besides learning about the different vaccinations for pets, you can get an excellent recommendation letter for veterinary school, which is your next step after your undergraduate degree. In addition to your recommendation letters, you’ll be required to write a vet school essay with outstanding results in your program-specific undergraduate courses. If you can, apply to multiple schools simultaneously to increase your chances of gaining admission.
Once the acceptance letters start coming in, it’s your turn to be selective. Compare and contrast all the admissions you receive, looking out for those that best fit your needs. Many expert vets advise students to look at schools that focus on communication and clinical skills.
Obtain your DVM
Before you start your doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM), you should know that it spans the duration of a typical undergraduate program, which is four years. Practical studies will take up most of your first two years, with many classes being basic science lectures. The other two years will have you going deeper into more biological systems like neurology. The classes teach you about the animal’s immune system, the severity of disease and its transmission, mild symptoms for illnesses, and the effective way to cater to sickness in animals, amongst others.
You’ll be encouraged to start gaining some practical experience outside of your lab sessions during your third year, which will have some significant classroom time but will still be more clinically focused. This is why gaining more practical hands-on experience with actual patients will go a long way to equip you with practical skills.
Complete any additional requirements
Depending on where you wish to practice, you might need to complete some additional steps for certification. One of such steps is the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Canada also has some regulatory bodies that require you to gain additional certification to practice in the country. If you require additional training to meet these requirements, go ahead and engage in a residency or internships that can help. Use every chance to learn and understand instead of learning to pass your exams.
Your love for monkeys, individual pets, apes, dogs, raccoons, and even skunks is excellent, but you’ll need more than that to make it as a vet. Do ample research before studying veterinary medicine, and ensure that it’s indeed something you wish to do. Once you’re certain, please make use of all these steps to become one of the best-licensed veterinarians around because you deserve it.