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Veterinarian

Veterinarian

Veterinarians provide health care for a variety of animals, including pets, zoo animals, livestock, and injured or sick wild animals. Veterinarians diagnose illnesses, treat injuries and diseases, and provide advice on the proper care of animals. About half of all veterinarians work with small animals, especially pets.

Other veterinarians work with livestock, or with scientists and physicians to research human health problems such as AIDS and cancer.

Education and Training

In the U.S., veterinarians need the following education and training:

  • a bachelor's degree or 45 to 90 semester hours of undergraduate work with an emphasis in biological sciences
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.D.M.) degree from a 4-year program at an accredited college
  • License to practice veterinary medicine

On the Job

In addition to the educational and profession requirements listed above, it is helpful for a prospective veterinarian to have an interest in animal care and biology. If you aspire to treat pets, the ability to interact effectively with concerned or sometimes upset owners is also desirable.

Veterinarians that work with large animals may spend much of their time traveling to farms and ranches, which may include working in poor weather and under potentially unsanitary conditions. Animals that are sick or in pain meay be unpredictable.

Math on the Job

Science-related careers typically call for the ability to understand the nature of the math used in doing research in the given field. Medical doctors routinely take a variety of quantitative measurements to assess the condition of thew patient, whether it be a human or an animal. For example, a veterinarian may take an animal's weight and set up a proportion to determine the dose of a particular drug.

Related Careers

  • animal trainer
  • animal breeder
  • kennel owner
  • animal groomer
  • zoologist

You can get more information about veterinary medicine from the following site:

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)