Veterinary Medicine Dvm

A doctor of veterinary medicine is a physician who is trained to treat a variety of animals. Vets, as they are called, perform many duties in the course of their day. They can assess animals for illness, diagnose them, and treat them. The assessment involves interaction and discussion with the human owner of the animal regarding symptoms and concerns. Vets also perform surgery on animals when necessary, administer medication and vaccines, and engage in routine preventive medicine measures to keep animals healthy. The majority of vets treat house pets such as dogs and cats, but other vets specialize in the treatment of farm animals and horses, and some even treat reptiles.

The working environment of a veterinarian depends on the area of specialization. Vets who treat pets will usually work in private veterinary offices and clinics or veterinary hospitals. Vets who specialize in treating farm animals will usually travel to various locations for patients such as farms. The hours a veterinarian works can vary, but often, vets work long hours and possibly weekends.

A veterinary degree can be obtained through one of the 28 veterinary schools in the United States. The top veterinary schools ranked by US News in 2011 are: Cornell University, University of California-Davis, Colorado State University, North Carolina State University, and Ohio State University. Although these schools are ranked as the top five best veterinary schools, all schools must meet accreditation regulations set forth by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Entrance into a veterinary medicine program is competitive since the programs are small and selective, and only about 1 in 3 applicants are admitted into veterinary programs. Schools base their decisions for entrance on many factors such as grades, test scores, and experience working with animals in the veterinary field. In addition, prospective veterinary students should have a keen interest in science, since the majority of the classes they will need to take will be scientific in nature. Obviously, students should love animals and have the ability to be personable with their human owners.

All states require that veterinarians be licensed, but the rules for licensing differ by state. All states do require that graduates pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam which is an extensive test. Many states also require that graduates seeking licensing pass an exam that covers the veterinary laws of the state.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree is offered at 28 different colleges and universities in the United States. Most students start their academic career with a bachelor's degree in a science field although a science degree is not a prerequisite. All holders of a bachelor's degree are eligible to apply; however, they will need to complete various prerequisite courses in order to be eligible for admission and/ or graduation in a veterinary medicine program. Some of the prerequisites needed to enter a veterinary medicine program will include:

  • Biology
  • Animal Science
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Admission to a veterinary medicine program also requires satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The minimum scores that must be attained on the GRE vary by school. More infrequently, colleges will require the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT), or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for admission to their program.

Upon entering a veterinary medicine program, students will need to attend a substantial number of classes in veterinary medicine their first, second, and sometimes third year in school. These classes will prepare students for the clinical aspect of the degree program. Possible classes in the professional phase of veterinary schooling include:

  • Introduction to Animal Behavior
  • Animal Systems
  • Veterinary Anatomy
  • Pharmacology

In the third or fourth year of a veterinary medicine program, students will embark on a clinical phase which will prepare them with actual hands on experience in veterinary medicine. Clinical experience is comprised of a substantial amount of clinical hours. Many universities have veterinary teaching hospitals where students can gain valuable experience. Some of the clinical rotations students will need to participate in include:

  • Clinical Rotation in Pathology
  • Clinical Rotation in Large Animal Clinical Sciences
  • Anesthesiology
  • Zoological and Wildlife Medicine

After all components of the degree have been fulfilled, students of veterinarian schools will then be eligible to graduate and sit for the different exams that are required by each state. Once testing and licensing is complete, graduates will be able to obtain employment as a veterinarian in:

  • An established veterinary practice working with other veterinarians
  • Their own private veterinary practice
  • A veterinary hospital
  • Research

We found 28 schools offering veterinary degree programs in the U.S.

>> See all 28 Veterinary Medicine Dvm Colleges in the U.S.

Top Veterinary Schools Ranked By US News and World Report

1
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  |  Total Enrollment: 12043

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
2
University of California - Davis
Davis, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 26094

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
3
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO  |  Total Enrollment: 26807

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
3
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Raleigh, NC  |  Total Enrollment: 28619

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
5
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, WI  |  Total Enrollment: 40658

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
5
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA  |  Total Enrollment: 21853

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
5
Ohio State University - Main Campus
Columbus, OH  |  Total Enrollment: 47952

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
8
Texas A & M University
College Station, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 44026

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
9
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI  |  Total Enrollment: 43366

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
9
University of Georgia
Athens, GA  |  Total Enrollment: 31288

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree

Browse All 28 Colleges With Veterinary Programs