The traditional veterinarian
maintained healthy and productive commercial food animals and
livestock, secured the public health of human and commercial
animals, and treated illness and disease in livestock, sport, and
companion animals . Today, veterinary medicine encompasses a variety
of diverse work settings. The majority of veterinarians work in
private small, large or mixed animal clinical practices. However,
jobs also exist in county, state and federal governments, in the
armed forces, in universities, private industry, zoos, wildlife
organizations, racetracks and circuses.
and Future Outlook. Seventy percent of veterinarians engage in
private practice. Not all cater to the large animals of cl assic
rural areas or to the cats and dogs of suburbia. In the past five
years, there has been a increase of emergency animal clinics that
treat trauma victims. There also is an increasing pool of
specialties upon which many referrals are made such as dentistry,
dermatology, opthamology, radiology, and surgery. In addition,
mobile veterinary services come to your home, and mobile surgeons
contract with general practitioners in their office. Practices may
also be limited to exotic animals, aquatic animals, ca ncer
treatment, and preventative medicine. Due to increased
specialization and competition, private practices will grow and
The other 30% of vets work for
county and state governments enforcing regulations established to
protect the public health of humans and animals, eradicating
diseases, and inspecting meat, fish, and poultry. Some of these
agencies include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and
Drug Administration, and The Center for Disease Control.
With a good outlook for the
future, stay motivated to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. In
1993, the applicant pool was up 20.8% from 1989 with an almost equal
distribution between male and female applicants. By 1998, veterinary
schools reported significantly more female applicants and
matriculants than males and some concern was raised about the
"feminization" of veterinary medicine. Most veterinary colleges,
whether public or private, now enroll many non-residents. Even so,
students who apply to schools within their state have an advantage.
A vigorous discussion
surrounds the question of veterinarian demand versus the supply.
With increased competition, specialization, and medical technology,
more effective treatment modalities are on the rise. With more
flexible practices, new fields such as genetic engineering open each
How to Get into Veterinary Medical School
Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements indicates the
specific requirements of each school, but most schools require one
year e ach of general chemistry, general biology, math, physics, and
organic chemistry. Although schools select students with a strong
background in science, non-science courses are important as well.
You will benefit with a science major especially if certain vet
schools require you to take the biology subject GRE test. Animal and
health-related experience also contribute to a well-rounded
application. This experience can come in the form of shadowing
veterinarians or animal research. Non-veterinary activities in clude
working on a farm or in a zoo. Internships, private veterinary
practices, research would offer any of these experiences.
Admissions. Vet schools
consider competitive applicants with a GPA around 3.4, exposure to
veterinary medicine, and leadership activities on campus or in the
community. Without a standardized application service for U.S.
colleges of veterinary medicine, students must request applications
from each school individually.
Veterinary schools require a
Health Professional Admissions Test, but schools vary on which one.
Fifteen of the twenty-seven veterinary schools require the GRE. Ten
schools require the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT). Again,
consult the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements
for more information regarding tests requested by certain schools.
Review manuals and prep courses will help you adequately prepare for
In addition, you will need
letters of evaluation. As a pre-health profession student at t he
University of Scranton, you may enter the Health Professions
Evaluation Committee process. The committee letter along with each
letter of evaluation will appear in your application packet to vet
schools. Each school may also request official transcripts, not only
from your undergraduate institution, but also from other schools
attended (i.e. summer courses)
Lastly, your GPA and test
scores often guide admissions committees to a decision. Each
applicant has a unique story. So, students with jobs, not many
extracurricular activities or a lower GPA should make this clear in
Acceptance. After you
complete your application, the school may offer an interview.
Generally, the interview means that your qualifications meet school
standards. Now, the admissions committee wants to know you better or
they have remaining questions. Most important, be yourself and stay
relaxed. To prepare for the interview, review your application
forms. Also create a list of reasons why you wa nt to be a
veterinarian. Research the school by looking at their catalog,
viewing their website and preparing some questions of your own.