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Advice for Vet Students

Nicaragua veterinary volunteers cleaning a dog's earVeterinary medicine is a rewarding profession that allows one to help both humans and animals. Anyone considering a career as a veterinarian should become acquainted with the profession first by volunteering or working at an animal hospital. The demands of a veterinarian include caring for sick and injured animals, educating and communicating with their human caretakers, as well as euthanizing animals who are suffering. These responsibilities can be challenging to deal with at times, both physically and emotionally.

If you decide that veterinary medicine is for you, great! The animals need you. To gain admission into any veterinary school, you need to get good grades, especially in your science and math classes. Make an effort to get as much veterinary experience as you can prior to applying. While many schools require a minimum of 200 hours of veterinary experience, in order to be competitive and maximize your chances for gaining admission, it is a good idea to get at least 2000 hours of experience before applying.

If you are a vegan or animal rights advocate, unless you are applying to a very progressive school, it is best not to disclose this information in the application or interview process to improve your chances for being accepted into the school. Nowadays, it is possible to obtain your veterinary education without harming or killing animals, and especially so at certain schools. More and more veterinary schools are using humane education methods to teach their students.

Here are some resources for aspiring vet students:

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) has resources for veterinary students seeking alternatives to harmful use of animals in the veterinary curriculum. http://www.hsvma.org/resources

Learning Without Killing: A Guide to Conscientious Objection. (150 pp.) by Dr. Andrew Knight. A resource for students seeking humane alternatives in their curricula. Freely downloadable from http://www.HumaneLearning.info/

The International Network for Humane Education http://www.interniche.org/

European Resource Centre for Alternatives in Higher Education http://www.eurca.org/

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges http://www.aavmc.org/