The road to becoming a veterinarian is long and challenging but once you succeed the reward makes it all worthwhile. Many people are hesitant due to the length and intensity of the studies, so the most essential Factor in succeeding is your motivation and reason for wanting to become a Veterinarian.
The journey begins in school. In order to be accepted into Veterinary School, being a top student is a requirement. Take as many science classes as possible; Biology, Chemistry and Math are fundamental. Another requirement is achieving a very high Grade on your SAT or Psychometric test. Before even beginning to study veterinary medicine you must complete a three year bachelor degree in a subject related to veterinary. The most common undergraduate degrees include Biology, Zoology and Chemistry. Veterinary universities have different requirements for classes that must be taken during the undergraduate studies, so you must have a goal oriented schedule towards the vet school which you plan on attending. Throughout your undergraduate career a future veterinarian must be among the top of the class, but unfortunately that isn’t enough. Once this competitive process is finished, in order to get into veterinary school there are specialized tests which a student must pass with a high grade. The test depends on where the vet practices, or wishes to practice. In the USA the test is called GRE (Graduate Record Examination), in the UK the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test).
The reason for the competitiveness of getting into veterinary school is due to the fact that there are few veterinary schools around the world compared to the high number of people interested in the subject, therefore the demand is a lot larger than the supply. The length of the studies vary worldwide but are generally between 3-5 years. The first years focuses on basic science classes such as various subjects of Chemistry, Anatomy, Biology, Pathology and Pharmacology. The final years focus more on clinical topics in which students learn more about the practical aspects of veterinary such as Surgery, Diagnostics, Anesthesiology and Dentistry. The end of the studies focuses on veterinary practice. Future veterinarians, under proper guidance, engage in different kinds of clinical cases, from wild animals to house pets. Once this arduous process is over and accomplished successfully, the student finally receives the DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) degree!
Veterinary practice varies according to the individual’s preference, it can expand from working on a farm to working in exotic places with rare animals. The most common practice is opening a private clinic and treating small animals. The outlook of jobs and salary in veterinary medicine is one of the most promising out of all careers. Jobs are growing three times as fast as most professions and the starting salary is also higher than average.
As you can see, a veterinary is no average Joe. A vet must have special personality traits. The most important is dedication because of the length and difficulty of the studies and intensity in the workplace. A vet must be able to be adapt quickly to unexpected situations and to function well under pressure. In order to have a successful clinic, a vet needs good business, management, communication and social skills. Above all, a good vet need to have a deep love towards all animals.