Interview With a Veterinarian About Becoming a Vet

Interview with Dr. E

How long does it take to become a Veterinarian?
After high school figure about 8 years. If you want to specialize figure another 4 years. It’s basically the same length as a human doctor.

Is there an exam that you have to take before you can practice?
There is a national board in the US, and many states have a state exam in addition to the national exam.

What is a typical day at the office?
A typical day, though I see unique cases every day, starts with checking on any hospitalized animals. Then I start seeing appointments, performing exams, taking blood or other samples and diagnosing medical conditions. Basically I have a new patient to see every 15 minutes, so it can get hectic. And don’t forget the emergency patients that I have to fit in as they arrive. Towards the end of the day, I make many calls either to give updates to owners regarding their hospitalized pets, or checking up on animals that went home. At our clinic we have certain surgery days, where each of us takes turns performing the surgeries or anesthetized procedures that day. Surgery mainly consists of: spays, neuters, abscess and wound repair, mass removals, and fracture repairs. It varies every day and there is always something new! My days can run from 8 to 12 hours a day. We do have vet techs that help us tons! They will usually do the initial checking of the pet, weight, vitals, and prep me on the condition.

What made you want to become a vet?
Ever since I was 5, I wanted to help animals. I really wanted to learn how to help wildlife and those animals without owners. It’s a calling that I knew my whole life.

What’s the best part of the Job?
Working with shelter animals, and the homeless animals. It feels good to be with these animals that don’t really have anyone to love them. It’s great to help them get better and see them get adopted.

What is the hardest part of the Job?
Some euthanasia. Seeing the owners with tears, it’s just sad to experience. However, euthanasia is usually for good reasons, except when it’s for behavioral issues. With the right owner and proper training, these animals don’t need euthanasia. I try to educate the owners as much as possible before this is performed.

What classes should I take in high school to prepare myself?
Advanced math, science…. chemistry, biology, college prep courses… all advanced, calculus. Variety is good too. Also join clubs, such as FFA.

What type of grades do you need to get into vet school?
A’s 3.8-4.0 overall. It is incredibly competitive.

How much did school cost?
It really ranges where you go, but for me it was roughly $ 150,000

What other kind of preparation do you recommend?
Volunteer! Also, work part time jobs that might help you on the path and look good to potential universities.