Prepare for Your Future as a Veterinarian
For those who love animals, veterinary school (also known as veterinary medicine school and veterinarian school) is a rewarding career path. But it takes more than a love of animals to be successful in veterinary medicine — vet school is tough and just getting in can be extremely challenging.
If you've decided to become a vet, you'll want to make sure you're prepared for vet school not only academically, but also physically and mentally. These programs are extremely challenging, but will lead to a career doing what you love to do — working with animals.
Getting Into Vet School
Vet school is known to be one of the most competitive of all medical schools. Often, there are waiting lists of students trying to get in, and the struggle to make the cut starts long before you submit your application. Take a look at a few tips that can help you in the long-term when it comes time to apply:
- Choose the Right Courses. Your undergraduate studies must include certain prerequisites in order to get into vet school. Each school's admission requirements will vary, but typically you'll need classes such as anatomy, physiology, animal science and more.
- Study Hard. GPA counts when applying to vet school! While a perfect 4.0 isn't always necessary, you do want to have a solid GPA to show that you are disciplined and ready to work hard to become a veterinarian.
- Volunteer. Prior work experience with animal shelters, in veterinary offices or with organizations such as 4-H will all be valuable on your school of veterinary medicine application, and the more experience you have, the better. Be sure you get letters of recommendation from the people you've worked with to include in your application.
Vet School Curriculum
Once you're in veterinary school, don't expect your work load to get any easier. Theoretical courses in the sciences, including topics like bacteriology, immunology, mechanisms of diseases, parisitology and many more, will keep you busy with loads of required reading, and you'll also be preparing for clinical work by studying large and small animal medical procedures and treatment options, as well as ethics and law.
Once you begin completing hands-on training in the program, you'll also be faced with stressful situations and a learning curve that can takes it toll. While all the work is challenging, it does prepare you for real-life work as a veterinarian and will serve as a great foundation for your career.