Veterinarians are an integral part of our society. They devote their skills and knowledge to care for our pets but also play critical roles in food safety and public health. While caring for animals is challenging work, being a vet is also incredibly rewarding and a chance to make a real difference in animals’ lives. Do you think you have what it takes to be a vet? Keep reading to discover five interesting facts about the veterinary profession.
You Need High Grades to Be A Veterinarian
One of the first steps to becoming a veterinarian is applying for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. This is a bachelor’s degree that takes four years to complete. Typically, vet schools require a minimum GPA score of 3.0, but the average GPA for veterinary school admission is 3.54.
That said, high grades alone aren’t always enough to secure a spot in veterinary school. You also need to demonstrate a passion for the work that you developed outside your academic career. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, relevant work experience is highly valued on your application. This could include volunteering at a local animal shelter or shadowing a veterinarian at work.
Not All Vets Care For Companion Animals
Veterinarian medicine is very broad and encompasses a wide variety of specialties. While the majority of vets work in private practices, some work in the agriculture industry caring for farm animals. Others train in medical research and spend the majority of their time in a laboratory studying infectious diseases. Whatever your chosen field, you can find plenty of opportunities to shape your career and work with different species of animals.
You Have To Be Good With People
While the word veterinarian comes from the Latin word veterinae meaning working with animals, the role requires you to work with people too. Good communication is an important part of any business, but it’s particularly important in a veterinary surgery where you have to be around and interact with pet owners and colleagues on a daily basis. In fact, studies show that the average veterinarian practice is losing a 5th of its clients each year by failing to build strong, long-term business relationships.
To remedy this, practices are adopting the necessary tools to improve client communication. From using telemedicine to engage with clients remotely, to implementing online surveys where clients can share genuine feedback.
The Vast Majority of Vets Are Women
According to VetsPanel, the number of women entering the veterinary profession is at an all-time high. Today, 68% of veterinary professionals are female, which is an increase of 8% in the last five years. For these women, the attraction of good pay and a stable profession is hard to ignore.
But for men, it seems that extensive application requirements could be stifling any passion for the profession. Many colleges require you to accrue a considerable number of shadowing hours with a veterinarian before applying. Research suggests male students believe they have less time to rack up these hours, and this could be putting them off the application process. Whatever the reason, the qualities of a good veterinarian − compassion, patience, integrity and adaptability − can apply to applicants of any gender.
You Need To Be Tech-Savvy
Virtually every career is becoming more tech-focused and veterinary medicine is no exception. Cloud-based applications, such as digital pet health records, are being more commonly used in veterinary surgeries. This is helping to reduce costs and the time spent on lengthy administrative processes.
Technology is also revolutionizing the way that vets diagnose and treat patients. From 3D imaging for performing surgery to microscopic cameras to help prevent life-threatening illness, technology is advancing the level of care that veterinarians are able to provide.
Is It Worth Becoming a Veterinarian?
We’re a planet of pet lovers, so the necessity for veterinarians will always be there. If you have genuine empathy for animals and a drive to make a positive contribution to your community, it may be the right career path for you. Want to stay up to date with all kinds of veterinary news? Follow us on social media to see how technology is disrupting the future of veterinary care.