Is Veterinary School For Me?
What do Veterinarians do?
Though most people think of Veterinarians as people who heal ill and injured animals and help all kinds of creatures live better lives, a career as a veterinarian can also prepare one for a specialization in public health and research with the links between animal and human diseases. While most veterinarians do work in private practice with household pets, there are veterinarians who work with large animals, exotic animals, disease control, food animals and food animal safety or go into academia.
Here are some ways you can find out what Veterinarians do:
- Research online resources through the Career Center’s Career Exploration Veterinary pages.
- Talk to veterinarians, veterinary students, faculty and school representatives.
- Attend veterinary school Information days and campus tours
Top Tips for a Career in Veterinary Medicine
- Major in the field which interests you the most, while showing good academic ability in science. Explore the field of veterinary medicine; be sure you know the positive and negative aspects of being a veterinarian and the future of the veterinary profession.
- Pursue extra-curricular activities which interest you. Begin to develop a unique self that will make you attractive to the veterinary admissions committee. Show breadth in your experiences with animals; work with different animals in different settings, e.g. animal shelter, humane society, 4-H, veterinary clinic.
- Leadership, communication skills, compassion, and being scientific minded are most important, particularly the ability to work with others of diverse interests and backgrounds.
- Keep your grades as high as possible. An upward trend in grade performance will be noted, especially when you are trying to overcome a less than spectacular year.
- Be sure to start looking for people who can write you letters of recommendation. Choose those individuals who know you and your work well and who you have close relationships with, e.g. shared interest in academic and /or professional matters.
- Pursue an academic interest in depth, e.g., research. Keep in mind that research need not be in a laboratory.
- Make the most of your experience at Berkeley. Make friends, get involved and be active, and keep alert of opportunities.
- There are many paths to veterinary school. People of different backgrounds, experiences and ages, etc. all get there.
- Lastly, be sure to talk to as many as people as possible about the veterinary profession (veterinarians, veterinary students, and veterinary school representatives) and keep current on veterinary issues from researching the veterinary profession.