How long does it take to become a vet?
If your unfathomable love for animals has determined your choice of career to be a vet then you must want to know how long does it take to become a vet? But there is much more than to just follow your instincts, it involves years of college, practical training and certainly the key to success- hard work and both academic and professional excellence throughout would determine how long does it take to become a vet. Becoming a vet involves passion and perseverance, as it takes pretty long to become a professional vet.
The preparation for the veterinary courses can start when you are still in high school. This can help you pace up how long it takes to become a vet. You feel at ease with the heavy mathematics and science curriculum that the veterinary courses involve. Veterinary aspirants should preferably have a pure science background (to the extent possible) in high school. Some can also start with some voluntary assisting jobs at some animal clinics, zoos, farms, animal reserves or animal homes. This can make you acquainted with the kind of job profile you would have to take up if you are thinking of a profession as a veterinarian.
Getting an admission in a vet school is often more challenging than getting into a human medical college considering the limited number of seats and also the background that they look for. Along with high grades in science and mathematics, they consider the prior working experience with animals. The process of becoming a professional vet is lengthier than many other professional courses. It includes 4 years of pre veterinary college with major in animal science, poultry science, zoology, biology, bio chemistry and microbiology. 4 years of veterinary medicine course follows the pre veterinary course. Both 4 years each of the pre vet course and the practical course determine how long it takes to become a vet. The students can opt for internships and residency credits offered by the institutes for specialty certificates or advances training.
Completion of course does not entitle you to practice till you crack the national veterinary medical board exam and a state board exam to practice in the state. The state board score would let you practice in other states if their eligibility criteria go with yours.
Veterinary study is much more diversified than human medical study as it involves the diversity of the huge animal kingdom, physiology and species. The veterinary programs are usually divided into two phases: the academic phase includes intense study of science in anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and microbiology. Apart from the academic studies, extensive library research, reading assignments and exams are included in the academic phase which determines how long it would take to become a vet.
Next is the clinical phase inclusive of specifications of animal disease, surgery and other medical subjects. This phase emphasizes more on the practical applications on animals when the students need to work in the animal hospitals under the supervision of licensed vets as part of their course curriculum. In the process the students learn how to diagnose the animals, examine, treat and administer medicines on them.
Considering the long 8 years (4 years for undergraduate studies and 4 years of graduate veterinary medicine study) that the course involves, one needs to exhibit perseverance, patience and passion during the process. Thus knowing about how long it takes to become a vet is important when you decide to become a vet. So if you want your love for animals to materialize into your profession, you better decide it early and embark on it right from your high school.