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Veterinarian

   

Veterinarians, also known as Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), diagnose and treat pets, livestock, and other animals. They are concerned with controlling diseases in animal populations, as well as preventing the transmission of animal diseases to humans. Veterinarians are trained to examine animals for disease and injury, perform surgery, prescribe medications and vaccinations, dress wounds, and set broken bones. They are also responsible for advising pet owners on the proper care and breeding of the animals they own. Some veterinarians teach in a university setting, while others conduct research on diseases that affect both animals and humans. They may also be called upon to conduct autopsies on deceased animal to determine the cause of death and if any larger public health risk may exist.

 

Veterinarians may specialize in a particular area of care such as public health, meat/livestock inspection, avian medicine (birds/poultry), laboratory animal care, private practice, or research and development. Veterinarians may have a general practice which treats all types of animals or a more selective practice that treats certain types of animals such as horses and cattle. They usually have the ability to work well with many types of animals and are able to calm the animal as well as the pet owner. Individuals interested in veterinary medicine should be compassionate, respectful, confident, and detail oriented.


Work Environment:

 

Veterinarians may work in private practice or with other professionals in a group practice. Some are employed by government agencies, private industries, medical colleges and universities, zoos, research laboratories, public health agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. Many work long hours including evenings and weekends.


High School Preparation:

 

High school students interested in becoming a veterinarian should take courses in biology, algebra, geometry, physical science, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, nutrition, physics, English, physiology, statistics, trigonometry, health occupations/medical professions education, and computer skills.


College Requirements:

 

Individuals interested in veterinary medicine should complete a 4-year undergraduate degree before applying to veterinary school. Admission into veterinary school is highly competitive; therefore students must have a high grade point average, high scores on entrance examinations, and experience working with animals. To become a licensed Veterinarian, an applicant must graduate from an accredited college of veterinary medicine and pass national and state licensure examinations.

 

Students interested in veterinary medicine should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

 

Employment opportunities for veterinarians should be excellent over the next decade. The U.S. Department of Labor expects an increase of 21% - 35% in the number of job openings through the year 2012. The need to replace veterinarians who retire or leave the profession for other reasons will create as many jobs as the overall growth in the job market. Pet owners are also becoming more aware of advanced care, such as preventative dental care and intensive care, and are more willing to take advantage of such nontraditional services. The largest growth in the job market will be for small animals and household pets because the demand for large animal veterinarians has declined over the past several years.
 

 

Salary:

 

Average Annual Salary

$85,100

 

Salary Range

$52,200 - $120,000

 

Professional Organizations:

 

American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL

60173-4360
Phone: (847) 925-8070
www.avma.org

 

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 710

Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 371-9195
www.aavmc.org

 

Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association

209 S. Lafayette Street

Starkville, MS 39759

Phone: (601) 324-9380

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