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Becoming a Veterinarian

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Do you bring home stray dogs? Do you nurse birds with injured wings back to health? Do you climb up to get the cat that won't come down from the tree, even though you're afraid of heights? Sounds like you're cut out to be a veterinarian when you grow up! Find out what it takes right here.

Veterinarians - What Do Vets Do?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, do you love animals? We're not just talkin' about cute, furry puppies, but also slimy snakes and frogs and rats because veterinarians work with all kinds of animals. A veterinarian, or vet, is an animal doctor who treats your pets when they're sick or injured, just like how your doctor helps you when you're suffering from a sore throat or broken leg. Vets also prescribe medication, vaccinate against animal diseases like rabies, perform surgery and advise owners on proper pet care. But pets aren't their only patients. Vets can also look after zoo animals, livestock and animals in sport.

Veterinarians - The "Ruff" Road to Becoming a Vet

It's harder to get into veterinary school than medical school cuz there are only 28 colleges in the US and four in Canada. Since competition is stiff, get an early start on gaining volunteer experience by being the neighborhood pet sitter or dog walker, and working at your local SPCA. When you get into high school, take courses in math and science, including biology, chemistry and physics. When you get into university, study veterinary medicine and maintain a GPA (grade point average) of 3.5. But, it doesn't end there - now you have to go to vet school! To get in, you must take the GRE (an admissions test) and get a score of 1350. Fours years of education and one year of work experience later, you'll earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Phew!

Veterinarians - Did U Know?

  • Veterinarians can make $70,000 - $120,000 US a year.
  • About 75% of students entering vet school are women.
  • Dr. Dolittle, starring Eddie Murphy, is one of the most popular movies about a veterinarian.
  • Human doctors must take the Hippocratic Oath, but vets take the Veterinarian's Oath. Click here to read it.

If you're interested in veterinary medicine, you can get more info at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, which represents all vet schools in North America. Fours years of education and one year of work experience later, you'll earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Phew! If your undergraduate college doesn't offer a specific veterinary path, related programs such as Bachelors Degree in Biology will set you up well for further education in veterinary science.

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