Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

What is A Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Degree?

As you probably know, Veterinary Medicine is the branch of the medical field that looks at the causes of illnesses, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries in animals. Most Veterinarians work with domesticated animals, like our pets and farm animals, but some specialize in animals in the wild and in zoos.  After getting a Bachelor’s degree, probably in one of the sciences, people who want to treat animals as a Veterinarian will need to complete a doctoral program at a Vet school. The training is pretty much like that of human doctors, except that Vets need to learn how to diagnose health problems with animals who can’t talk—who can’t tell you where it hurts! That sometimes complicates things.

To be accepted into a veterinary college, you need to complete a BS or BA degree first in a pre-veterinary program or in general science or biology.  It’s a good idea to check out what the prerequisites are for the Veterinary school you plan to attend to be sure that you have the right courses to be admitted to the DVM program. Pre-requisites will be heavy in biology, chemistry, and physics.  Coursework in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will include subjects like anatomy, physiology, animal care, neuroscience, pathology, veterinary nutrition, pharmacology, toxicology, and diagnostic imaging.  In latter stages of the program students will study anesthesia, surgery, ethics, public health and techniques with both small and large animals. Clinical experience is a large part of the last two years of training, and students may choose to focus on small animals or large animals, and will have many elective courses to customize the program according to their interests. Nearly all geographical areas require graduates of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programs to secure a license to practice.  There may be additional requirements, too.

The video below discusses a “typical” program, so it should help regardless of which school you are considering.

Faculty Advice

What Can I Do With A Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Degree?