Becoming a Veterinarian
Doctors of veterinary medicine are medical professionals, whose primary goal is to protect the health and welfare of animals and people. The veterinarian’s oath states the doctor will “use his or her scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.” Veterinarians may work in private practice, teaching and research, governmental agencies, and industry.
There are 27 accredited veterinary schools in the United States. All of these schools require varying amounts of coursework that must be gained at the undergraduate level. Missouri Southern State College has a pre-veterinary program that provides an excellent basis for acceptance into veterinary school. Students can expect to take a number of courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and humanities. These courses can also be applied toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.
Acceptance into veterinary school is competitive. Students need to present strong undergraduate coursework, experience working with veterinarians in the field, good Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) scores, and a genuine desire to work with animals. Students will be evaluated on the basis of grade point average especially in biological and physical science, GRE or VCAT scores, field or clinical experience, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, community service, and possibly a personal interview. More information about the GRE.