What Are Veterinary Studies?
Are you an animal lover with an interest in science? Veterinary medicine promotes the health and welfare of all animal species. Because there are so many different kinds of animals, studies to become a veterinarian or veterinary technician are varied and intensive. Keep reading to find out what it takes to pursue a career in veterinary studies. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Veterinary Medical Studies Information
A bachelor's degree is typically not a necessity to apply to veterinary school, but programs typically require that you complete a minimum of 80-90 semester hours of undergraduate education. Many veterinary medicine prerequisite courses are the same classes required for those applying to medical school. You'll usually need to have studied statistics, physics, biology and chemistry. As a prospective veterinary student, you also might be required to take studies in zoology, animal science and animal nutrition before applying to a program.
You also might need to spend a certain number of hours working with veterinarians and animals in a clinical setting. When you apply to a program, your scores on either the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are usually taken into consideration, as well as your letters of recommendation.
The 4-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program begins with a number of foundation courses needed in order to advance to the clinical stages of the program. Foundations courses include studies in animal anatomy, parasitology, radiology and cell biology. Depending on your veterinary medicine focus, you might also take courses in equine, fish, canine, feline or large animal anatomy, drug therapies, shelter medicine, toxicology or community health. A critical foundation course can explore how to diagnose animal illnesses. This course comes into play when you begin your clinical courses.
Your final two years of the program will be spent taking clinical clerkships that focus on what type of veterinary medicine you want to practice. Clerkships in large animal or production medicine could take you to a farm or stable to work with large production animals, such as cattle, sheep or swine. You'll learn how to perform examinations, give vaccines, conduct reproductive evaluations and assist with births. Small animal clerkships are often taken at practices or clinics, where you can learn to perform routine examinations, interact with families and practice medical management for family pets.
Other advanced courses include large and small animal surgery, emergency care, clinical imaging and anesthesiology. Elective courses allow you to practice your specialty, with studies in primate care, equine reproduction or specific types of surgical procedures.
After finishing an accredited veterinary medicine program, all states require that you pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE), which is given through the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (www.nbvme.org). Scores can be transferred to your state licensing boards through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aavsb.org).
Veterinary Support Studies
Like all physicians, veterinarians rely on a dedicated support staff. Veterinary technicians help with much of the clinical work in a private practice or clinic, performing blood tests and other diagnostic exams. They also help with X-rays, record patient histories and engage in family interactions.
Associate degree programs in veterinary technology usually last two years and first focus on courses like biology, chemistry and math. Advanced courses teach you how to assist with examinations and perform imaging procedures. You'll also learn about pharmacology and anesthesiology, in addition to clinical and surgical procedures. Internships can show you how to perform many of the functions at an office, including nursing care, laboratory work and advanced radiological equipment use. Depending on your state, you might have to earn licensure or certification by passing an examination after you complete an accredited veterinary technology program.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: