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Vetrinary students studying in classroom

Becoming a Veterinarian

Lab tech working

If you’ve decided on becoming a Veterinarian, you’re undoubtedly passionate about animals. Becoming a Vet, unlike many professions, is surly based on passion. If it were for money, or prestige, you would probably consider human medicine, law or something else, no? These other professional studies, are no more difficult and possibly not as difficult as, Veterinary medicine. And they certainly, open the doors to a much higher income potential. Not to say that Veterinary medicine pays poorly, but it usually doesn’t have the potential to hit a seven-figure annual income, like some other professions can.

I’ve always been impressed by those who become Vets. It’s such a noble career, which requires great academic dedication. When you think about it, Vets must know just about everything to do about animal care. Most other professions, have branch studies and specialties. Veterinary medicine does too, but not to such a degree. Have you ever heard of a family doctor, who is also a surgeon? Well a Vet not only acts in that capacity, for your pet, but so much more. They act as GP, surgeon, anesthesiologist and so many other specialties, which in human medical practice, is divided amongst several professionals. Even more so exceptional, is Vets work with numerous species. Each species, is so unique from another.

I can only deduct, that Vets are driven by deep passion, love and commitment to animal welfare. It probably explains why they’re always happy. Maybe not in all cases, but have you ever noticed how content and pleasant Vets are? I have, you probably have to. I’m envious of those who can make a career out of their passions.

So, what’s involved in becoming a Vet? Good marks for starters. Veterinary schools also like to see, some previous animal welfare experience. Like a history of working or volunteering at a shelter, or working as an assistant in a Vets office. Previous studies can help too. A Bachelors degree, preferably in the sciences or being, a certified animal health technician, can be a good door opener. There’s nothing wrong with taking things, one step at a time. After all this is to be a life long career. So, in the scheme of things. Does it really make that big a difference, if it takes a few years longer? Given, your career can span some 40, 50 or 60 years possibly?

Try to set your goals and career path early. Reach out to Schools that teach Veterinary medicine and ask what they’re looking for, beyond good marks that is. Admission and entry requirements, can vary. Perhaps, some of these schools offer animal welfare technician programs. This can be a good place not only to build your knowledge base, but develop good relationships, with teachers and instructors. Many of whom probably teach in the Veterinary medicine branch, of that institution. I’m sure their references must hold a lot of weight and influence.

Try to get involved in the animal welfare milieu early. In addition, to being able to demonstrate some previous experience and exposure, to college admission review boards. You might also be able to garner some good and credentialed references. Good marks, are not the only thing admission review boards consider, but rather an all-around impression, of you and your fit, within Veterinary medicine. Your selling a package of goods, not just one thing.

Now the cost of studies, varies. Just like any other studies, tuition fees are different, from institution to institution. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to compliment your needs, with a part time job. What better place to do so, than something in the animal welfare sector. So, start to apply early to those places, which are near your school. No doubt, someone who will be studying to become a DVM, would be most welcome. Don’t wait till your accepted. In fact, you may want to comment on your application, that you will be working part time, at such and such a place. It can’t hurt to make mention of this.

Tuition fees, books and materials are going to be expensive. The degree of which will of course vary from institution to institution. If your confident about acceptance, it might be a good idea to source used books and early. Professional studies books can be very, very expensive. So, find out as early as possible, what the curriculum is and the books you can be expected to acquire. If you wait for day one, or term turnover. You’ll be competing with a lot of people for those valued used books.

Above all, never give up. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Depending on your financial situation, you may expect to make a lot of sacrifices. In the end, they will have been worth it. So, keep your eye on the prize and trust you can make this happen. In my follow-up article, I will be discussing the different Veterinary medicine schools, in North America and the U.K., along with tuition fees and the costs of books and materials.  Best of luck to you.

dhendricks
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