You love animals and haven’t been able to think about doing anything else since you were young. If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place. Becoming a vet is a popular career aspiration and will come with a lot of dedication and hard work along the way that will be worth it in the end. Throughout this article, we will take a look at everything that you need to do to fulfill your dream and become a veterinarian.
Focus on Course Requirements Early
You don’t necessarily have to complete a four-year undergraduate course to gain entry into a veterinary medical school. However, if you don’t, you will be required to achieve a minimum number of credits and complete some pre-requisite courses. When you are in college, seek help from a career advisor to determine which route would be best for you.
Obviously, some courses will help you more than others. These can change from time to time and vary based on the vet school you go to. This is why it is a good idea to research the courses that are preferred by the vet schools and universities you like and do so as soon as possible.
Before you apply for a veterinary course, you need to ensure you have as much hands-on experience as you can. As a benchmark, you are expected to have accumulated several hundreds of hours to demonstrate your passion for the course. For example, as a veterinarian, you will have to have extensive knowledge about dog nutrition – vets are often asked by owners about what food to feed their pets, so spend time researching different brands, such as those you’d find on Amazon or PetCareRx. In addition, pet owners often wonder how they can help take better care of their furry friends and whether getting pet insurance is recommended. Of course, even pets that are in optimal physical condition can get sick or have accidents, which is why getting pet insurance is always a great idea.
It is also worth volunteering at your local dog pound, as you will need to make sure that you have proven work experience with as many animals as possible to make your application stand out above the rest.
Remember that being a veterinarian is just like being any other type of doctor. This is a career in which you never really stop learning. As medicine evolves, you need to learn more and more. You have to adapt your techniques and so much more. Basically, the more experience you get, the better. This is important when you want to become a vet and when you already are one.
Once you’ve amassed your experience and put in the hard work at college or through pre-requisite courses, you can start applying for veterinary school courses. Each program will have its own set of requirements, so make sure that you start writing your application early and aren’t caught off guard. Strengthen your application by gaining experience with established veterinarians who can write you a glowing recommendation letter.
To make your life easier, head over to the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) who will package all materials and make it easier to get your application out to multiple schools at the same time.
Obtain Your DVM
For your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) course, you will usually spend four years studying complex sciences, biological systems, and completing lab coursework. Typically, clinical work doesn’t start until your third year but will vary from course to course.
Out of all the things you have to do in order to become a vet, this is definitely the most important step. The knowledge that you gain during the four years will help you to become a very good doctor. While you will keep learning, as we mentioned before, you will still need to educate yourself following the course. However, you still have to be really careful with your education.
The NAVLE and Wrap Up
Arguably the most important test on your dream journey, you will be required to sit the NAVLE test. You can complete the test in most states within ten months of the end of your course. This is one test that you won’t be able to cram for, so make sure you spend the full four years understanding the content.
Finally, you’re on the road and an inch away from your life-long dreams. All that’s left to do is complete any other requirements and continue to learn as you move forwards through your career.
Becoming a vet is hard but rewarding work with a very clear roadmap. The most important thing to keep hold of throughout is why you wanted to become a vet in the first place. This will help you to stick to your education, including the original one and the ongoing one.
At the end of the day, being a vet is something you surely want since you are reading this article. With this in mind, remember what was mentioned above and take the time you need to look at all the opportunities you have. You never know when a great clinic needs an aspiring vet.