Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Advertising
     None  Alterations
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealerships
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Barns and Steel Buildings
     None  Blacksmith
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Catering
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dentist
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Electrician
     None  Equine Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Firearms
     None  Fireplace Sales/Service
     None  Firewood
     None  Fitness
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Handyman Services
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Improvement
     None  Home Inspector
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Movers
     None  Music Lessons
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Pet Store
     None  Pet Training
     None  Photography
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Sewing - lessons, supplies
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
– Anne Bradstreet  
About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Subscribe | Privacy Policy 

  Volume No. 10 Issue No. 4 April 2014  

None Adopt Me   None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs  
None Community Calendar   None D 49 Sports   None FFPD News   None Face to Face  
None From the Publisher   None Health and Wellness   None Letters to the Editor   None Monkey Business  
None News Briefs   None News from D 49   None Pet Care   None Photo Stories  
None Phun Photos   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
Pet Care
Printer Friendly Version
Dr. Jim Humphries
  How do you become a veterinarian?
  By Dr. Jim Humphries

   Our love affair with all animals is astounding. Veterinarians are regarded with a high degree of respect by animal lovers the world over. However, it takes much more than a love of animals to succeed as a member of this proud profession. A passion for the sciences and an analytical mind are also essential!
   Veterinary medicine consistently ranks among the most respected and admired professions. Pet owners and animal lovers think highly of veterinarians, but many don’t know the incredible amount of schooling and debt incurred when striving for the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
   Also, many do not know that we do so much more than just “take care of animals.” While true, many are unaware of the incredible diversity of careers found in the veterinary profession. Not only do veterinarians care for our companion animals and our livestock, but also veterinarians play important roles in medical research that benefits both people and pets or even helping governments track and prepare for newly emerging diseases. Veterinarians are active in the military, our food inspection services and in the public health sector. Veterinarians are a major factor in pharmaceutical companies that develop new medications to help animals and humans.
   So, what does it take to become a veterinarian?
   First, good grades throughout high school and an undergraduate program in college are essential. Course work should be strong in math and sciences, but it is also important for the student to be well rounded. As an example, communication courses are vital as the majority of veterinarians will need to effectively explain complex medical diseases and terminology to pet owners or ranchers and farmers.
   These early years are also a great time to focus on finding a job or volunteer opportunity that provides hands-on experiences with animals. Veterinary hospitals and animal shelters often accept school-age volunteers, but don’t forget about the possibilities offered by Future Farmers of America programs or the local 4H. These days, weeks and months of working closely with animals can help a prospective veterinary student understand the challenges of animal care.
   After a minimum of two years of undergraduate work, the process for applying to veterinary school can begin. Competition for the open spots is extremely fierce. There are 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States, with four in Canada and another four in the Caribbean. Compare that to the 134 human medical schools in the U.S. Also, each of these universities generally only accepts about 100 students for each veterinary class, meaning that about 3,000 slots are available for each new class. Human medical schools graduate about 20,000 new doctors each year.
   Once accepted, new veterinary students will find their school days regimented and filled with an incredible amount of information. For the first two years, the focus is on the sciences. Lectures on the anatomy of various animal species, physiology, microbiology and many more subjects are the focus.
   Then, as the students progress into their third and fourth years, all of the information they committed to memory can now be used in a practical manner, as they move toward more hands-on work in the veterinary teaching hospitals and labs. Students interact with veterinary instructors and actual clients as they learn the important skills of client interaction. These soon-to-be veterinarians also find opportunities to assist in surgeries, extensive dental procedures; and, of course, daily rounds with the attending veterinarians at the hospital.
   When graduation finally arrives, the learning and education process is not over. In order to practice veterinary medicine, new graduates must pass national and state board exams. Then, even as they are learning the expertise of daily routines at their new job, continuing education is a requirement of all veterinarians. CE helps veterinarians stay on top of a variety of technological and treatment protocol changes.
   Some veterinarians continue their education, specializing in areas like dentistry, radiology or even lab animal medicine. There are almost 40 different specialty organizations, and veterinarians who seek to become a specialist may add another four to six years to their education.
   As you can see, becoming a veterinarian not only takes passion and intelligence, but a lifetime commitment as well. The degree of “Doctor of Veterinary Medicine” is one of diversity, and is certainly a rewarding profession.
   Dr. Jim Humphries is a house call veterinarian in Falcon. He also serves as a visiting Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. He lives in Falcon with his wife, horses and Great Danes.


© 2004-2017 The New Falcon Herald.
All rights reserved.