How To Obtain A Veterinary Medicine Degree

Is veterinary medicine your calling? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a veterinary medicine degree the easy way.

Medicine is one of the most important branches of science as it deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. This is an area of study that practically deals with life which is why it is so important and also difficult to study.

It’s common knowledge that medical schools are really hard to get into, however, this isn’t completely true as there are some easy medical schools to get into and you can find them in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and other locations.

Canada, a popular destination hub among international students, especially has made medical education at its universities affordable. There are medical scholarships in Canada for international students and there are also other ways you can study medicine for free in Canada. Australia also has its share of affordable medical colleges for international and domestic students.

There are many branches of medicine which include neurology, pathology, geriatrics, nuclear medicine, pediatrics, radiology, as well as, veterinary. You can decide to specialize in any of these medical fields in a medical school that offers your preferred program. Prospective medical students can use this list to see the medical schools in the US for various specialties.

Before you pursue any medical program, you must have some prior experience in that field. It boosts your knowledge of that field and also increases your chances of getting accepted into the program. Prospective veterinary medicine students should consider enrolling in some online veterinary courses to get prior knowledge of veterinary medicine and test the waters too.

What is Veterinary Medicine Degree

Veterinary medicine is a branch of medical science that involves the prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, disorder, and injury in animals alongside animal rearing, husbandry, breeding, research on nutrition, and product development.

A veterinary medicine degree is the qualification conferred to graduates who have satisfied the academic requirements, as well as, completed the course or credit load required to become a veterinarian. The degree in veterinary medicine is designed to prepare you for a career in veterinary science either as a physician or as a researcher in the field.

The veterinary medicine degree is the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) which requires six years to complete.

What Do Veterinarians Do?

Veterinarians are experienced medical experts responsible for treating the injuries and illnesses of animals using various medical equipment as well as surgical tools, x-ray, and ultrasound machine. The services that veterinarians provide are similar to the services that a physician would provide to humans.

Requirements for a Veterinary Medicine Degree

To get a degree in veterinary medicine, you will need to apply to a medical school that offers the program. Before applying, you also need to know the requirements for admission to be considered for admission.

Although the requirements may vary since different medical schools are offering veterinary medicine degrees but the difference won’t be much. Below, I have brought together the general requirements for application to a veterinary medicine degree program. Meeting them would make you be considered for admission when you apply.

The entry requirements for a veterinary medicine degree are:

  1. Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and meet the cutoff mark as required by your host institution. A minimum MCAT score of 500 is mostly required.
  2. Some medical schools may require you to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). You will have to visit the school page or contact the Office of Admissions to know which of the standardized tests are required.
  3. Take high school subjects that will give you foundational knowledge in the sciences. Such subjects are biology, chemistry, mathematics, and English.
  4. High school transcripts
  5. You must complete, at least, 2 years of full times studies in an undergraduate degree program by the time you are applying for a veterinary degree program.
  6. Meet the undergraduate GPA requirement of your host institution. It is usually between 3.0 to 3.5 GPA on a scale of 4.0 or B.
  7. Complete undergraduate prerequisite courses as required by your institution. The typical courses are molecular and cell biology, humanities, social sciences, math, biochemistry, genetics, statistics, organic and general chemistry, ecology, and English.
  8. Possess prior work experience. You must have worked with vets and animals.
  9. Reference letters
  10. Statement of purpose of essays
  11. Submission of a background information form
  12. English language proficiency requirements for international students who are non-native English speakers.
  13. A student visa or student permit for international applicants

How Many Years Does It Take To Study Veterinary Medicine?

Typically, it takes 5 years to study and complete a veterinary medicine degree. However, some schools in the UK complete the degree in 4 years. And other schools can take 8 years to complete.

Types of Vets

Turns out there are different types of vets, and I never knew this until now. The different types of vets are:

  1. Companion animal veterinarians
  2. Veterinary specialists
  3. Exotic animal veterinarians
  4. Livestock, food, and large animal veterinarians
  5. Laboratory veterinarians
  6. Food safety and inspection veterinarians
  7. Research veterinarians

veterinary medicine degree

How to Obtain A Veterinary Medicine Degree

If you are one of those people who love animals and equally enjoy science, you should consider a career in veterinary medicine as it might be a good fit for you. You get to be with as many animals as possible and different ones too and care for them using science. This is you do the two things you love and enjoy the most.

As a veterinary doctor, you will gain expert skills and knowledge on how to care for varieties of animals ranging from pets and farm animals to aquatic creatures and zoo animals. You get to learn about living animals both small and large ones.

This is a step-by-step guide to assist prospective students who want to pursue a veterinary medicine degree.

Veterinary schools aren’t very many and they are very competitive to gain admission. This is why you must meet all the entry requirements set by the school and satisfy the eligibility criteria set by the program. Admission requirements for veterinary schools vary slightly as they have many things in common – I have listed the general requirements for a veterinary medicine degree above.

It is therefore advisable to know the admission requirements and eligibility criteria of your preferred institution before applying. Also, you want to start preparing yourself as early as you can and apply as early as possible.

In high school, take mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics courses, don’t throw English out of the window either. Taking these high school subjects will give you a foundational knowledge of science and prepare you for a career in veterinary medicine. Taking the subjects will also satisfy the academic entry requirements for your undergraduate study.

A veterinary medicine degree is a graduate degree, therefore you must complete 4 years of an undergraduate degree in a science program to be eligible to pursue a veterinary medicine degree.

After high school, you will need to enroll in an undergraduate degree program that will provide you with strong knowledge in biology and physical sciences. This undergraduate program is the stepping stone for you to get into a veterinary medicine degree program and is a common requirement among veterinary schools. Failure to do it means you won’t be considered for admission.

You can complete the undergraduate pathway at another university or college or at the same school where you want to pursue a veterinary medicine degree. The latter is better as it increases your chances of acceptance.

After your undergraduate pathway program, apply for the veterinary medicine degree program with the required documents and satisfy the eligibility criteria to be considered for acceptance. You might be called upon for an interview before being admitted into the program.

Veterinary Medicine Degree – FAQs

How many types of vets are there?

There are more than 20 different types of veterinarians.

Where in the UK can you study veterinary medicine?

Universities in the UK that offer veterinary medicine are:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Surrey
  • The University of Cambridge
  • The University of Glasgow
  • The University of Bristol
  • The University of Liverpool
  • The University of London
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • The University of Nottingham

Can a vet become a human doctor?

Yes, a vet can become a human doctor after getting a medical degree and obtaining their license.

How difficult is veterinary medicine?

Veterinary medicine, just like another medical specialist, is very hard and requires strenuous work.

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