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Considering a Career in Veterinary Medicine?

Written by Richard Lester, DVM.

Over the past few months, we have had some students in the clinic following and observing our doctors. They are interested in pursuing careers in Veterinary Medicine and are completing job shadows to get a better idea of what those careers might entail. Here are some suggestions from the doctors they have been shadowing   for someone interested in finding out more about the field. Reading books can give you a great overview of what occurs in a veterinary clinic, but job shadowing really gives a behind the scenes look at how a veterinary clinic runs. As Dr. Brandon said, "Shadowing lets you see that this career choice is not all about animals. We always have them in mind, but our communication is with the owners."

A love of animals is, of course, key in the pursuit of a veterinary career. It is good to spend as much time as possible around them. Dr Lester recommends volunteering at shelters, shadowing veterinarians, and working at clinics. There are many different areas of veterinary medicine, so other options to consider include volunteering at a zoo, working with a farm, or volunteering with a horse boarding facility. Talk to as many people as you are able. The veterinary team includes doctors, specialists, veterinary nurses, kennel or boarding assistants, and receptionists.

Dr. Lester points out that veterinary schools are exceedingly competitive and says, "If you want to pursue this career, contact the school you are contemplating and discuss with them the application requirements. They will often tell you what looks good on an application." It is an educational path that will require a lot of focus, hard work, and dedication. That said, Dr. Brandon reminds everyone not to limit themselves to standard pre-requisites. "Take a business course, a psychology course, pursue a hobby... Learn in undergraduate school how you learn... You will need those skills in veterinary school."

If you are considering a career in veterinary medicine there are a lot of resources out there for you; some of the best may be people you already know who work in the field. And if you have any questions for us here at Cats Exclusive, please feel free to ask in the comments section!

Published on May 21, 2017.

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