All Pets Veterinary Clinic

VETERINARY MEDICINE AS A CAREER

Veterinary medicine is an exciting career choice for anyone who shares a love
of science and animal care. The remainder of this page details the educational
requirements for entrance into veterinary school, the application process,
the DVM educational program, and graduate career options. Be sure to check
out the links on the bottom of the page for more information.



Current requirements for entrance to the University of Illinois College of
Veterinary Medicine


A B.S. or B.A. degree in any major field of study from an accredited college or
university, including the following courses as the minimum (equivalent in content
to those required for students majoring in biological sciences):

Plan A:
--Eight semester hours of biological sciences with laboratories.
--Sixteen semester hours of chemical sciences, including biochemistry; inorganic and
organic chemistry must have laboratories (3 laboratories required).
--Eight semester hours of physics with laboratories.

Plan B:
Those applying without a B.S. or B.A. degree are required to have at least 60 semester
hours from an accredited college or university, including 44 hours of science courses.

The minimum course requirements under Plan B are:
--Eight semester hours of biological sciences with laboratories.
--Sixteen semester hours of chemical sciences, including biochemistry; inorganic and
organic chemistry must have laboratories (3 laboratories required).
--Eight semester hours of physics with laboratories.
--Three semester hours of English composition and an additional three hours of English
composition and/or speech.
--Twelve semester hours of humanities and social sciences.
--Twelve semester hours of junior-/senior-level (or graduate-level) science courses in
addition to the requirements listed above. These courses could include, but are not
limited to, any of the following: advanced biology, anatomy, genetics, microbiology,
physiology, zoology.

*Requirements for other colleges of veterinary medicine may vary.



Admission to veterinary school is very competitive. At the University of Illinois,
there have been three to four applicants for each resident position and 40 to 50
applicants for each non-resident position in the entering class.


Applications to veterinary colleges typically include:
--Application (typically submitted electronically)
Applications typically document knowledge of, motivation toward, and experience with
the veterinary profession; evidence of leadership, initiative, and responsibility; animal
contact and experience; and extracurricular factors influencing personal growth. In
addition, the academic rigor of the preprofessional program, course load, awards and
scholarships, and upper-level or honors courses may be considered.

--Letters of recommendation
Letters should be written by individuals who can evaluate the applicant's experience
and ability relating to professional and scientific study. Letters should be from
college instructors, academic supervisors, and veterinarians.

--Copy of all college transcripts
Evidence of required classes and a minimum GPA for all courses completed are often
documented by official transcripts. The mean grade-point average at the University
of Illinois has been around 3.50 (4.0 = A) for successful resident applicants and
3.75 for successful non-resident applicants.

--Official test scores from GRE, VCAT, MCAT, etc. (varies by university)

--Interview
Interviews are often required of all applicants who are the strongest academically
and who are being seriously considered for admission.

Students who are successful in gaining admission to the program typically have
considerable animal experience, more than a year's experience working in a veterinary
setting reflective of the type of work in which they have interest, and strong
extracurricular and community involvement.



Veterinary Education
The profession of veterinary medicine is dedicated to the development of knowledge,
skills, and techniques for maintaining optimal levels of health and quality of life
for animals and people.

Upon successful completion of the professional curriculum at the University of
Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.)
degree is obtained. The professional education offers a wide variety of careers in
veterinary medicine. The four-year curriculum provides students with a theoretical
and practical foundation in basic biological sciences and medicine and a broad range
of clinical training and experience.

First and Second Years--Basic Sciences
Gross Anatomy I and II
Physiology I and II
Neurobiology
Veterinary Histology
Veterinary Clinical Orientation
Veterinary Immunology
Principles of Animal Nutrition
Veterinary Developmental Anatomy
Veterinary Medical History, Ethics, and Orientation
Epidemiology
Pharmacology I and II
Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology
Veterinary Paristology
General Pathology
Veterinary Jurisprudence
Companion Animal Medicine I and II
Special Pathology
Virology
Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Food Hygiene and Public Health

Third and Forth Years--Professional Years
Third Year
Toxicology
Companion Animal Medicine III and IV
Introduction to Surgery
General Small Animal Surgery
General Large Animal Surgery
Clinical and Laboratory Practice
Theriogenology
Veterinary Anesthesiology and Fluid Therapy
Food Animal Nutrition
Companion Animal Nutrition
Food Animal Medicine
Small Animal Surgery
Large Animal Surgery
Clinical and Laboratory Practice II
Radiology and Radiobiology
Diseases of Poultry

Fourth Year--Clinical Rotations Clinical and Laboratory Practice
Equine Medicine and Surgery
Clinical Anesthesiology
Food Animal Medicine and Surgery
Diagnostic Imaging
Production Medicine/Theriogenology
Small Animal Surgery
Diagnostic Laboratory Practice
Specialty Medicine (Cardiology, Dermatology, Neurology, Oncology)
Electives in above areas or Beef Production Medicine, Swine Production Medicine,
Aquatic Animal Medicine, Lab Animal Medicine, and Ophthalmology.



Post-DVM Education
Internships and residencies that lead to board certification in one of more than twenty
specialties qualifies veterinarians for an even wider variety of positions in both
private and public practice. For example, specialties exist in veterinary internal
medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, pathology, ophthalmology, and other areas that
qualify a veterinarian for unique positions in private practice, industry, or academia.




Because of the broad scientific training and the use of state-of-the-art tools and
techniques, veterinary medicine is the foundation for an almost limitless variety of
health-related careers.


--Traditional Private Practice
Veterinarians treat diseased and injured animals. Veterinarians also are heavily
involved in preventing and controlling disease in both individual animals and in animal
populations. For food animal veterinarians, the focus has become one of improving
productivity and profitability for farms. Most veterinarians apply their skills in
practice settings for some portion of their careers, and many develop highly successful
practices. Graduates with a D.V.M. may serve companion animal and livestock owners.

--Specialty Practice
Board certification in one of more than twenty specialties qualifies veterinarians for
an even wider variety of positions in both private and public practice. For example,
specialties exist in veterinary internal medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, pathology,
ophthalmology, and other areas that qualify a veterinarian for unique positions in
private practice, industry, or academia.

--Public Health
Veterinarians contribute to the eradication of disease in public health careers and
help shape government policy as regulatory officers. Their skills are also employed in
biology-related industries. In pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, and animal food
and health products companies, the D.V.M. plays a variety of roles. For example, in
commercial laboratories, veterinarians trained in laboratory animal medicine are
responsible for the health and well-being of research animals. Veterinarians also
engage in projects to develop more humane testing procedures and to ensure the safety
of new drugs. The development of computer models to decrease the need for animal
research also involves veterinarians.

--Government
Government employees at the national, state, and local level, such as wildlife
researchers or environmental and occupational epidemiologists, are often veterinarians.
In military services, veterinarians provide medical expertise, work to ensure safe and
nutritious food for both military personnel and civilians, manage animal experiments,
and supervise animal research colonies. Veterinarians have also used their education
and talents in the Peace Corps, contributing to improved nutrition, health, and
standards of living in developing countries.



More Information On Careers In Veterinary Medicine Can Be Obtained From:
The American Veterinary Medical Association
www.avma.org
1931 N. Meecham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173
1-800-248-2862

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
www.cvm.uiuc.edu
2001 S. Lincoln, Urbana, IL 61801
1-217-333-2760

Other Schools of Veterinary Medicine



The infomation found on this page is from the University of Illinois College of
Veterinary Medicine web site and may be subject to change. Please consult the
U of I website for up-to-date information.



Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
11 January 2003