Becoming a Veterinarian (DVM)

Career Plan: a step by step approach…

Are you interested in helping sick or injured animals? A career as a veterinarian requires doctoral level education. Here are some tips to help you go from having a passion for working with animals to having a satisfying career.

Become a Veterinarian…

Veterinarian Resources

  1. Use your high school years to get a solid academic foundation. Veterinarian schools have a competitive admission process. If you take rigorous math, science, and composition courses as a high school student, you will be better prepared to take veterinary school prerequisite courses in college.

  2. Get some experience working with animals. Consider volunteering at a shelter.

  3. Apply for college. Your school may have a pre-vet option. Otherwise, you can enroll in another course of study as an undergraduate. Look ahead to know what prerequisites you’ll need.

  4. Beginning taking your science prerequisites early – especially if you’re planning on applying for early admission. The American Animal Hospital Association is a potential source of internship leads.

  5. Also meet with a pre-vet advisor. Beginning researching programs and prepare for the GRE or MCAT. (A majority of schools prefer the GRE.) Cultivate professional and academic relationships – you will be submitting three evaluations with your application.

  6. Most people begin veterinary school after graduating from college. However, some do so after their junior year of college. Many schools use the Veterinary Medical College Application Service, which is a centralized service. Applications are due annually on October 1. If you’re feeling nervous about the application process, you may want visit the veterinarian forums on Student Doctor to discuss interview techniques and personal statements.
    If you are a very strong student and have an interest in research, you may want to apply to programs like the Medical Research Scholars Program. This can help you launch your career.

  7. You may choose to complete an internship or residency to get advanced training in a specialty area and/ or increase your employability. You can apply through the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program. Review programs and practices and apply only to ones where you would be willing to work. Rank them in order of preference.

  8. It’s time for that first position! The American Veterinary Medical Association is one career resource. There are online job boards as well networking opportunities.

Personality Traits: Veterinarians have compassion for animals and people. They have scientific minds and good critical thinking skills.