why do you want to become a veterinarian

I don t remember when I first wanted to become a vet, but my mom remembers it. She loves to tell the story of how, as a toddler, I would use my toy stethoscope to try to find the heart in my stuffed animals. I can t remember a time when I didn t want to work with animals. Throughout my life, my desire to make animals well has never diminished. Instead, I have refined and narrowed it to a more specific field of interest. Now, in addition to knowing that I want to help sick animals become healthy, I know that I want to do so in the area of companion animal behavior. As I studied the bonds between owner and pet, I discovered that a many relationships were destroyed because of undesirable behaviors in the pet. My interest was immediately sparked. I could work in an area where I could save the life of an animal by educating the owner and helping to modify the unwanted behavior of their pet. My pets have been a big influence in my decision.


I ve almost always had pets and been intrigued by their behaviors and what the mean. I ve also worked at three vet clinics (small, med, large) and found (or reconfirmed) from those experiences that I love working with animals, prefer the behavioral side to the medical side, and love interacting with pet owners.
The path to becoming a veterinarian is not a short one. At minimum, veterinarians must obtain doctoral degrees from accredited schools of veterinary medicine. For individuals who love working with animals and want to earn a salary above the national average, becoming a veterinarian might be a path worth taking. Earning a doctor of veterinary medicine degree typically takes four years. Although it is sometimes possible to gain acceptance to a college of veterinary medicine without first earning a bachelorвs degree, most students have completed their undergraduate degrees before enrolling.


Admission is highly competitive - fewer than 50 percent of those who applied for admission in 2010 were accepted, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students might want to consider whether earning a four-year degrees would increase their chances for acceptance. As of publication, there were 28 accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the U. S. Course requirements and options vary, but certain basic courses are standard. Students typically study animal physiology and anatomy, biology, zoology, animal science, chemistry and microbiology. Some colleges also require courses in the humanities, social sciences or mathematics. Typically, the first three years are spent in classroom instruction, laboratory work and clinical practice. The fourth year is normally spent at an animal hospital or clinic, where students rotate among different specialties and types of patients.


Many veterinary colleges require courses in English composition and public speaking. Genetics and nutrition are also mandatory at some schools. Every state requires licensing of veterinarians. The requirements vary by state but all require graduation from an accredited college with a doctorate in veterinary medicine and a passing grade on the national test, the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Some states also require veterinarians to pass a state exam to demonstrate through knowledge of the regulations and laws that apply to the specific state. The BLS advises that few states have reciprocity agreements, which means veterinarians licensed in one state who move to another state must normally pass any required state exams in the new location before being allowed to practice. Once a veterinarian earns his license, he can begin his practice immediately. Some recently graduated veterinarians choose to enter an internship, though, which typically lasts one year.


The most common reasons for doing so, according to the BLS, are to gain practical experience if planning to apply for a competitive job or to help prepare for certification in a veterinary specialty. There are 40 veterinary specialties, including surgery and internal medicine. Depending on the specialty, veterinarians need to meet the requirements for experience and education before sitting for the certification exam. According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for veterinarians in 2016 was $88,700. Salaries vary by region with the best-paid jobs located in Honolulu, Hawaii where the mean annual wage for veterinarians in 2016 was $216,840. The second highest paying city was Jacksonville, Florida with a reported mean salary of $188,880. Demand for veterinarians is expected to increase by 18% between 2016 and 2026.

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