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Transcript of Veterinarians
to ensure that you are able to meet the academic requirements for admission.
2. Start early and
get experience in the field and with animals
by volunteering or doing co-op at vet clinics and/or humane societies.
3. Be pro-active and
volunteer to build relevant skills
(ex. perseverance, teamwork skills, etc.)
Of course, passing veterinary college is a requirement to becoming a vet but most don't realize how much of an obstacle that can be! You're in classes and labs from around 8:00 AM until at least 4-5 PM. Then you can expect to spend more time after that studying The courses are incredibly hard, and you have to learn all kinds of nuanced details about the anatomy, physiology, diseases, disorders, pharmacology, and toxicology of most non-human species (not just the one like for human doctor!).
Congratulations, you have reached your goal of obtaining certification for veterinary practice!
Veterinary College is notoriously difficult to get into as a high university average and high MCAT scores are required. Because there are also only
veterinary colleges in Canada, competition is fierce.
But there are ways to overcome these difficulties....
The advice that first come to mind would be to STUDY, STUDY, STUDY but while that is important, it is also important to find a balance between your social and academic life.
Work hard, don't procrastinate
, but also
take time to enjoy yourself and de-stress!
For those who have decided that they want to be a vet, are you prepared for the obstacles?
Most people understand that university costs money and are prepared to or expect the fee for those, perhaps first two, years. However, for a student trying to pursue veterinary medicine, the cost of university is just the
Prospective veterinarians must also pay for, at least, 4 additional years of veterinary college after university. In addition to tuition, the costs of more textbooks, transportation, residency, etc. must also be considered. Taking these factors into account, the predicted annual cost of veterinary college is around
Because of the heavy workload and intense academics, it is hard for most veterinary students to find the time for a part-time job to support themselves.
Furthermore, many choose not to pursue a career in veterinary medicine because the starting salary of a newly graduated vet is only around
and therefore many graduates are left with
from veterinary college that they can't pay off for an average of 10 years.
Money is an important factor that may be the obstacle that puts an end to your dream.
tip of the iceberg
Getting into Veterinary College!
The Ontario Veterinary College accepted
110 of the 448
applicants in 2012. The mean average of the accepted applicants was
and the mean MCAT scores were:
verbal - 8.76, biological - 8.89, physical - 8.02 an writing - P.
To even be considered for the DVM program at the University of Calgary, one must have a minimum average of
in the last four full time terms at an university and a minimum overall average of
with a passing grade in each of the undergrad courses required.
For the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, all applicants must have a minimum, cumulative average of
to be considered for admission. All grades are then converted to a common scale for comparative purposes and this converted average will be used.
The faculty of veterinary medicine a l'Université de Montréal averages
500 to 600
applicants, but accepts fewer than
Each year, the Atlantic Veterinary College normally accepts
students to its DVM program.
Yet, there is still hope...
Apply to any and all scholarships
that you can. The worst thing that can happen is that nothing will happen but there is a chance of receiving monetary aid with school.
Start a fund
for yourself early so you are more prepared to face the costs.
Passing Veterinary College!!!
What do they do?
A vet is like a doctor for animals, they administer vaccinations; diagnose ailments with the employment of various tests; perform surgery; euthanize animals in pain; and advice owners on how to take better care of their pets (or livestock)
Some vets may specialize in
the care of small animals
such as cats, dogs, etc. and will usually work in a clinic or animal hospital. Veterinarians in private or clinical practice, especially those employed at an emergency animal hospital often work long hours in a noisy indoor environment.
9:00 am – 10:00 am
Treating hospitalized animals.
10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Seeing clients; examining animals; preforming diagnostic tests or treatments.
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Possibly doing surgery or another procedure.
2:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Seeing clients; examining animals; ordering diagnostic tests or treatments.
And like with all vets, they may have to deal with emotional or demanding pet owners. When working with animals that are frightened or in pain, veterinarians risk being bitten, kicked, or scratched.
However, for those with a passion in this field, they should by no means, let this deter them from pursuing this profession it can also be very rewarding.
An owner brings a dog in who appears to have many skin abrasions (sores- often red, raw, weeping and/or bloody) with pus oozing out (pyoderma- caused by secondary bacterial infection) and patchy areas of hair loss (alopecia). The owner then tells us that the dog, Fido, has been constantly scratching, licking, chewing, and biting itself. What is the diagnostic?
a. an allergy to something
c. liver failure
d. ingestion of toxic material
Someone brings their cat and claims that their cat, Whiskers, who had recently undergone surgery, won't stop licking at the wound. What is the best advice?
a. advice the use of an Elizabethan collar
b. tell the owner to have a stern talk with Whiskers
c. give Whiskers more painkillers
d. tell the owner that it is not a problem
Those who choose to specialize in
have a mobile practice as it’s easier for the vet to go to the injured horse than it is for the horse to go all the way to a clinic.
All vets must work a great deal of late night and weekend emergency shifts but large animal vet must also expect to work outside in all types of weather.
9:00 am – 10:00 am
Calling into the office for messages; speaking to clients on the phone; setting out a schedule for the day; organizing my truck and equipment.
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Visiting clients and their animals.
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Taking care of an emergency call: performing surgery or another procedure on an injured animal.
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Driving home; putting away equipment; checking messages.
8:00 pm – 12:00 am
Possibly taking care of another emergency call.
A cow has been diagnosed with pink eye and it suffers from an increased flow of tears which causes dirt to accumulate on the face around and below the eyes. The eyelids have become inflamed and are partially closed. What would be the correct treatment?
a. treat eyes with an antibiotic solution
b. provide eye patches
c. keep the cow in shade (no prolonged direct sunlight )
d. all of the above
Veterinarians also may choose to specialize in certain areas of veterinary medicine medicine, such as
surgery, dentistry, dermatology, neurology, cardiology, pathology, or oncology
while others may work with companies to
develop food or medicine for animals
. Some are
employed by the government
to inspect livestock for diseases or take part in medical research projects that use animals as test subjects.
In general, full-time vets, fresh out of college, start out with annual incomes of between
$45,000 and $65,000
. The average annual income for all full-time vets is somewhere in the range of
$70,000 to $110,000
with veterinary surgeons and researchers earning the highest salaries. That being said, owners of successful private practices can make over
$150,000 a year
Admission to the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at a veterinary college (except for at l'Université de Montréal, where it is 5 years long) is highly competitive. Prior to applying to such a college, you'll need to complete at least two years of an undergraduate degree including several required courses at the 3rd year university level. These prerequisite courses will differ for every college.
Other requirements to a veterinary college include a high
(usually 3.5 or higher)
experience with animals
(through volunteering or employment), and an
for applicants that meet all other qualifications. Some colleges may also require two or more
letters of recommendation.
How Do You Become Vet?
It's important to start taking courses in the academic stream that are related to veterinary medicine in high school. Of all the following recommended courses, the sciences and maths are the most important.
Health & Physical Education
Personal & Career Development
Probability & Statistics
Algebra & Geometry
Prerequisites for the Ontario Veterinary College
2 Biological Sciences (with recommended emphasis on animal biology)
2 Humanities/social sciences (Consider topics such as ethics, logic, critical thinking, determinants of human behaviour and human social interaction.)
Prerequisites for the Atlantic Veterinary College
2 animal Biology electives
2 Math courses (one being statistics)
3 Chemistry courses (one being Organic Chemistry)
1 Physics course
2 English courses (1 being Composition)
3 Humanities and/or Social Sciences
5 Electives in any area
The MCAT is an online standardized test that has been a part of the medical school admissions process for more than 80 years. It assesses the applicants' problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of vital science concepts and principles. Scores are reported in Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences.
Finally, to practice veterinary medicine after college, you are required to join a veterinary association and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.
What are some trends that will affect this occupation in the future?
Employment for veterinarians is expected to continue to increase steadily over the years.
"Employment in this small occupation (7300 in November 2011) rose strongly in the past five years and rose very strongly in the long-term (ten years)..." (Government of Australia, 2011)
Another reason for the large employment growth may be because there has been an increasingly stronger interest in feline pets. Faster growth of the cat population is expected to increase the demand for feline medicine and veterinary services.
Also, due to the limited number of veterinary colleges in Canada, there is a consistent need for veterinarians as a limited number of qualified graduates are entering the working class.
This may be due to how more and more people are investing in pet insurance, increasing the likelihood that considerable money will be spent on veterinary care.
"From 1956-1997, households with pet cats have climbed from 21% to 31%." (American Humane Association, 2013)
"Overall, pet insurance policy sales have increased between 8% and 10% annually at different companies", says Kristen Lynch, executive director for the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.
(Sarah Meehan, 2012)
You can take advantage of this large job market by considering this occupation when choosing your future job as there will be a lot of opportunities upon graduation.
New technology is constantly being advanced for this field .This trend combined with the constant development of new practices in veterinary medicine (the use of lasers, ultrasound, medical imaging, etc,) creates great demand for more veterinarians qualified and trained to use it.
"Many of the advanced tests and procedures used on people are now available for pets (ax. endoscopy, laser surgery, ultrasound, echocardiography, MRI, etc." (American Animal Hospital Association, 2013 )
This trend indicates a large future demand for small animal veterinarians. Take advantage of it by choosing to specialize in small animals.
Should you choose to pursue this career, also consider participating in programs or workshops that will allow you to practice operating newly developed veterinary equipment to take advantage of the quickly advancing technology.
American Humane Association (2013). FACTS - Pet Ownership. Retrieved from http://www.petfinder.com/for-shelters/facts-pet-ownership.html
Atlantic Veterinary College (n.d.). Application and Admission Requirements | Atlantic Veterinary College | University of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved from http://avc.upei.ca/dvm/application
Australian Government (n.d.). Veterinarians - Job Outlook. Retrieved from http://joboutlook.gov.au/pages/occupation.aspx?code=2347&search=alpha&Tab=prospects
Career Cruising (n.d.). Career Cruising. Retrieved from https://www.careercruising.com/Careers/JobDetails.aspx?LoginID=54820f9a-c5f2-4c4b-80b2-e2d96013e932-5&OccNumber=435
DEGREEDIRECTORY.ORG (n.d.). Veterinarian: Job Duties, Occupational Outlook and Education Requirements. Retrieved from http://degreedirectory.org/articles/Veterinarian_Job_Duties_Occupational_Outlook_and_Education_Requirements.html
Ontario Veterinary College (2013). Academic requirements - OVC Recruitment. Retrieved from http://www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/recruitment/en/applyingtodvm/Academicrequirements.asp
University of Calgary (2013). Admission Requirements | Faculty of Veterinary Medicine |. Retrieved from https://vet.ucalgary.ca/dvmadmissions
Université de Montréal (2012, October 24). Description du programme. Retrieved from http://www.etudes.umontreal.ca/index_fiche_prog/158010_desc.html
USA TODAY (2012, March 7). More owners buy pet insurance for furry pals. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/insurance/story/2012-03-06/pet-insurance-veterinary-expenses/53388516/1
Veterinarian Career Options, Duties and Responsibilities. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/veterinarian_career.html
Veterinarian Job Description, Salary, and Training Information. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.jobdescriptions.net/health/veterinarian/
Western College of Veterinary Medicine (2009). WCVM: academic requirements. Retrieved from http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/undergraduate_program/academic_requirements.php