How to Become a Vet in the USA
If you ask little kids who they are dreaming of becoming when they grow old, the chances are high that some of them will definitely say something about becoming a vet. Most children like animals and they are ready to save and help them no matter what. In some cases, such a desire is provoked by an incident that happened with a beloved pet when the kid couldn’t help the friend. And if you are interested in mastering this profession, it is worth finding out more about it. You should weigh all the pros and cons as well as study all the pitfalls of this occupation to decide on whether you are ready to make it all the way to the end or it is better to find another way to work with animals.
5 Steps to Become a Veterinarian
When you decide on something, you may wonder how long it can take to achieve your final goal. Well, in this particular case, you should allocate about 10 years to master this profession after graduation from high school. Initially, it will take about 4 years to obtain a bachelor's degree, and then you will have to master an additional 4-years curriculum to become a qualified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and be able to start officially working in your state. And if you want to get licensure in a niche area and become, for example, a surgeon, you will have to study for an additional 2 years or even more. Such a duration of studies looks completely justified since you will not work as a science homework helper who can hardly kill someone, but someone’s life will depend upon you.
1. Obtain a bachelor's degree
It is not necessary to obtain your degree in biological science, provided you have taken the required science courses that include chemistry, mathematics, physics, and of course, biology. However, each school has its requirements for applicants, so you can be also asked to have a completed course in, for example, biochemistry. If you want to find out what your future job looks like, you can engage in volunteering activities at veterinary clinics and alike entities. Many curriculums require experience in dealing with animals, and your voluntary activities can help meet this requirement and increase your chances of successful admission. When you complete your bachelor’s degree curriculum, you will have to get the GRE to show how much you are ready to continue your study.
2. Become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Each year of your curriculum will affect the success of your further studying. The first couple of years will be focused on science subjects and related programs to provide you with an understanding of veterinary science. When you reach the third course, you will face hands-on training sessions and get a chance to use all the skills when revealing a diagnosis and recommendations for possible ways of treatment. The last year is devoted to practicums and can also include participation in research and development projects.
3. Get a license
To start working with “real” patients, you will have to pass the national exam and get your license. Besides, each state may demand some additional exams.
4. Get experience
As soon as you become licensed, you can start getting experience working at some private clinics.
5. Continue your studying
If you want to become a niche specialist, you should continue your studies or be involved in a residency program. The latter supposes working in a specified place for several years and gaining practical knowledge in the chosen profession under the watchful eye of an experienced veterinarian.