How To Become A Veterinarian

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If you love animals, and you would like to have a career helping them every day, you should consider becoming a veterinarian.

As a veterinarian, you would be able to help sick animals and in many cases, save their lives everyday.

If you are considering becoming a veterinarian, you should know the steps that you need to take.


Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program

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The first step to becoming a veterinarian is to complete a bachelor’s degree program. Many students who plan to pursue a career as a veterinarian earn their degree in biological science.

However, most veterinary schools don’t require students to take a specific major. They just need to have completed certain courses, such as general biology, physics, chemistry, and math.

Certain schools also require that you take more advanced science courses, including biochemistry, mammalogy, or animal behavior.


Earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree

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Each year’s curriculum builds on what you learned the previous year. The first two years of school will focus on a variety of science subjects, such as animal anatomy and physiology, virology, and nutrition.

These courses prepare you to learn veterinary medicine. Some of these courses may be specific to different animal groups. During the third year, you will focus on clinical studies, where you would work with real live animals.

You would practice the knowledge and skills that gained during the first two years to make a diagnosis and recommend treatments. During the final year of school, you would participate in practicums or internships.


Become Licensed

After graduation, you would be required to become licensed to practice in the field.

Every state requires you to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.

Depending on the state that you intend to practice in, you may be required to pass a state exam as well.


Gain Experience

After becoming licensed, you may want to consider getting some experience by interning for a year before you start applying for a permanent position.

It can be difficult to find a job without experience.


Become Certified in a Specialty

In order to become certified in a specialty, such as surgery or internal medicine, you would need to complete a residency or additional education.

These programs often require that you have been working at a specified location for multiple years, where you would receive supervised training in the specialty that you choose.


Join a Professional Association

There are several benefits of joining a national and state association.

These benefits include, access to newsletters, published literature on the latest veterinary topics, professional connections, and resources for continuing education.

If you love animals and a career in veterinary medicine interests you, click here to learn more about the exam and education requirements.

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