For those who are interested in veterinary medicine but may have missed the meeting with the Admissions Rep from Tufts last week, below are some helpful resources if you’re considering veterinary school. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our advisors!
So You’re Thinking About Becoming a Veterinarian?
What Does a Veterinarian Do? Veterinarians (vets) practice medicine, treat diseases, and combat injury in non-human animals. Unlike physicians who treat humans, vets must rely on clinical signs to determine what is wrong with an animal, since the animal cannot report how it is feeling. Sometimes pet owners are able to provide a medical history, or the vet is able to use x-ray and ultrasound technology to diagnose the animal. After receiving a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, vets can choose to continue their education by selecting a specialty from among a wide range of options, such as zoological medicine, veterinary emergency and critical care, laboratory animal medicine, and many more.
What does a Veterinary Assistant Do? Veterinary assistants provide routine care for animals in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, and work closely with veterinarians. You do not need a graduate degree to become a veterinary assistant; training occurs on the job.
Data (Salary, etc.): The average salary for a veterinarian in 2012 was $84,460. Veterinarians do work long hours (often nights and weekends); in 2012, 1 in 3 vets worked more than 50 hours per week. For veterinary assistants, the average salary (2012) was $23,130. Despite an average level of growth of the field, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects good job opportunities for veterinary assistants in coming years.2
“Why Veterinary Medicine?” Some top reasons many people choose to go into veterinary medicine include: day-to-day variety in cases and types of animals, getting to work with other animal lovers, needing to use problem solving skills daily, and continuing to learn, even after finishing their formal education.
Veterinary Medicine Resources:
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
- AAVMC Career Information
Veterinary School Admissions Process – Advice for a good application
- Coursework: Research veterinary medicine programs before you apply. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website is a good place to start. Complete the course requirements that CCI’s Health Professions (HP) Advising recommends for all pre-health students.
- Extracurricular: Gain observation experience by shadowing a veterinarian. Volunteer at animal shelters and in general get as much exposure to animal medicine as you can.
- Standardized Tests: Take the Graduate Requirement Exam (GRE). Some schools also accept the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) in place of the GRE.
- Personal Statement: The personal statement is very important to your application to vet school. Some schools may require more than one essay. Make sure to check what the requirements are for the specific programs to which you are applying. This is your chance to let the Admissions Committee understand who you are and why veterinary medicine is right for you.
- Advising: Schedule an appointment with Mary Lothrop or Hannah Benz (HP/STEM advisers) to talk about applying to veterinary schools. You can also bring draft(s) of your personal statement to CCI to be reviewed by a Peer Career Adviser at Quick Questions (1-3 pm weekdays), or by Mary or Hannah (by appointment).
- Submitting Your Application: Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is the centralized application service, but not all schools use the system. For schools not using VMCAS, see individual schools’ admissions web pages for application instructions.
- Veterinary Cost of Education Map: The VIN Foundation helps students figure out the costs of veterinary school.