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Author: VIN Foundation

What do veterinarians do?

Most veterinarians in the U.S. work in private practice. While veterinarians are licensed to care for a wide variety of animals (dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, exotics, etc.), most limit their practice to certain types of animals or medical specialties. Currently, the majority of veterinarians in the U.S. provide medical care for pets such as dogs and cats.


Is veterinary medicine the right choice for me?

Working and talking with veterinarians, veterinary students, and veterinary technicians and staff is the best way to get a realistic picture of the profession. Veterinary medicine is a big commitment, both academically and personally. A prospective veterinarian should be a good student with strong science, math and communication skills.


Is loving animals enough to be a veterinarian?

While veterinary medicine can be richly rewarding, a veterinarian’s day is not filled solely with adorable animals. It is important to develop a realistic picture of the profession before choosing this career. Failure to understand the demands and challenges of the profession can lead to dissatisfaction. Veterinarians must handle failure, loss, grieving and angry clients, and sometimes animals that have been neglected.


How do I prepare for veterinary school?

How do I prepare for veterinary school? Is there a “good” major? What experience do I need?


Each veterinary school’s website lists the school’s application process and pre-requisites. In general you will need to take a number of classes including: biology, math, English, chemistry, and physics to apply.


How much does it cost to attend veterinary school?

First, consider the cost of your undergraduate education. Veterinary school costs vary depending upon whether you attend a private or a public school and whether you have residence in that state. Like all higher education costs, the cost of veterinary school has risen many times above the increases in the costs of living over the past three decades.


Wow! That’s a lot of money!

Wow! That’s a lot of money. Veterinarians must have very high salaries to pay back those loans.


Most new graduate veterinarians in full-time positions earned between $59,900 and $93,500 in 2017. Over the last decade increases in the cost of education have far outpaced starting salaries for veterinarians.


Is becoming a veterinarian worth it?

You’re a What? What’s a Pathologist?

by Rebekah Gunn-Christie, DVM, DACVP


A lady at my gym asked me what I do for a living.  “I’m a veterinary pathologist,” I said and then paused, smiling, as I waited for the inevitable furrowing of brows and subsequent barrage of questions about my line of work.  “You’re a…what?” she asked, her voice trailing off at the unexpected constellation of words I had concocted.  “I’m a veterinary pathologist,” I repeated, more slowly.  “I evaluate and interpret pathology specimens.”  The brows relaxed, slightly, but I could tell she was still perplexed. I volunteered a slightly longer explanation: “I went to veterinary school, and then I completed a residency in pathology. Now I look at cytology cases (sometimes called needle biopsies) for a diagnostic lab.” “Oh,” she said, understanding more but still not enough to really know how I play a role in keeping pets healthy. 


Like Fish, Your Vet Never Leaves School

by Christy Corp-Minamiji, DVM


I’m sitting at a computer at a conference for fish people.


No, it isn’t Aqua Man and his court (though how cool would that be??). This is the annual conference of the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine. Yep, an entire educational gathering dedicated to veterinarians and other folks whose patients have fins and flippers.