What It Takes to Be a Veterinarian

With all the talk here about our pets and how to make the most of our time with them, it’s easy to forget about the people who actually provide the most skilled care they’ll ever receive: the veterinarians. The work and dedication required to make it as a veterinarian is considerable – probably more than you think. Here’s a quick look at what’s required for these skilled medical professionals to be able to call themselves veterinarians.
Firstly, and speaking from the point of view of an American applicant, gaining admittance to one of the 28 accredited veterinary schools in the country is extremely competitive. Each year, there are only about 2,500 openings with over 6,000 applicants. Those are pretty tough odds, so young prospective veterinary students need to do all they can early to get ahead.
In high school, prospective vets should concentrate on the biological sciences along with chemistry and physics. This will demonstrate to review boards that you have a solid basic understanding of where you’re going with your career. A lot of veterinary schools don’t have a hard and fast requirement for what college major you pursue, but again, there should be a focus on biology and chemistry at the least. Try to show your dedication to the profession by volunteering or interning with an established vet – every little bit helps.
After college, it’s time to apply to the vet schools themselves. They’re generally all four-year institutions, and as stated, gaining entry is very competitive. But with the right studies, grades, recommendations and practical work experience behind you, you too can earn the right to call yourself a veterinarian.

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