Veterinarians play a significant role in the health and well-being of animals, ranging from household pets to zoo animals to livestock. Becoming a licensed veterinarian can be a long and demanding process, requiring a passion for animals, dedication to education, rigorous coursework, and practical experience. You should also secure disability insurance for soon to be veterinarians as you work towards earning an income.
Here are the steps to becoming a veterinarian:
Step 1: Understand What Becoming a Veterinarian Entails
As a vet, you treat sick and injured animals and may be forced to euthanize an animal at some point. If you feel that some of the duties of a veterinarian are too emotionally challenging for you, you might not want to pursue this career.
Working at an animal shelter or a pet care company could be the best way to determine if veterinary school suits you. Working in pet care can teach you how to handle animals when they are afraid. You may also learn how to recognize an animal that is unwell and how to administer the proper medication.
Step 2: Complete an Undergraduate Degree With Relevant Courses
Most veterinary schools require applicants to acquire an undergraduate degree in biological or physical sciences before applying. To optimize your undergraduate education, research prerequisite undergraduate requirements for veterinary school. Take the recommended courses for undergraduate programs.
Some prerequisite undergraduate courses for veterinary school include:
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry
Step 3: Gain Practical Experience
Many veterinary schools emphasize that applicants should spend several hours working with animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. A recommendation letter could be mandatory when applying to a veterinarian school. The easiest way to get one is to work with veterinarians.
Internships, volunteering, and job shadowing are some ways to gain experience before applying to veterinary school. It can help to get disability insurance for soon to be veterinarians as you work towards gaining relevant work experience.
If your college offers extracurricular activities that involve working with animals, such as pre-vet or animal care clubs, puppy breeder sign up for as many as possible. Many of these clubs support students who want to study veterinary medicine through internships and student financing.
Step 4: Apply to Veterinary School
Perform well in all your prerequisites before applying to a veterinary program. Below are some veterinary school criteria:
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Maintain a competitive GPA while taking your undergraduate course to increase your chances of getting accepted into veterinary school. Most veterinary schools focus on the courses taken in the last few semesters, so be sure to perform your best.
Graduate Record Examinations
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a widely accepted standard test by veterinary schools for vetting applicants. Other veterinary programs vet applicants using the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Getting a good score on these tests puts you in a better position to get accepted into vet school.
Get at least three people to write you a recommendation letter. Most vet schools require a letter from your academic advisor, a veterinarian, and another person you choose. In some schools, you may need recommendation letters from two veterinarians.
You should write a personal essay telling who you are, why you want to be a veterinarian, and how your achievements qualify you. Showcase your passion for animal care, and demonstrate why you are exceptional among other applicants. You can ask your college professor, career guide, and counselor to check your letter and offer tips to improve it. Once you get into vet school, work hard to get your doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM).
Step 5: Study and Pass Your Licensing Exam
You should earn a passing score in the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) to practice as a licensed veterinarian. If you use your four years in veterinary school to learn and understand veterinary medicine, you should have no trouble passing the NAVLE.
Take your time to study for the exam and use resources like practice questions and mock exams to test your knowledge. You can take the NAVLE in the spring or fall of your final year. If you do not feel ready for the exam, you can wait until the next season to allow for better preparation.
Step 6: Begin Your Career
Once you complete your NAVLE and get your license and any other requirements, you can start practicing as a veterinarian. Avoid waiting until you graduate to start searching for jobs. You can take internships and volunteer while in veterinary school to build your network. During this time, you can get disability insurance to protect your future income if an accident prevents you from starting your career sooner.
Disability Insurance for Soon To Be Veterinarians
If you are a soon-to-be veterinarian, you need to lay the groundwork for you to start and enjoy a long, successful career. That is why you should go to the best schools, work hard to pass your exams, and gain experience through internships and volunteer work.
You can control how much skill you develop and how your career grows. You may not control factors like accidents that may delay your career progress and limit your income prospects. Disability insurance for soon-to-be veterinarians protects your future income as you work towards becoming a veterinarian. Contact a provider to learn more.