Veterinary medicine combines compassion for the health and welfare of animals and their owners with an interest in science and medicine. For veterinarians, every day brings a new challenge, and offers an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of both animals and the people who care for them. This field demands excellent problem-solving, observational, listening and analytical skills. Veterinary medicine is a field of flexibility and choice. Veterinarians work in a variety of environments, such as private clinics, zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, farms and animal shelters. And you can choose to specialize in your area of interest, from domestic pets to farm animals to more exotic species.
According to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), many veterinarians provide care for companion animals through private medical practices, but veterinarians are also involved in promoting the health and welfare of farm animals, wild or exotic animals, working animals (like those in the equine industry) and those that need a healthy environment in which to thrive, whether that environment is a rain forest, a desert or the ocean. Aside from animal healthcare, veterinarians pursue many other kinds of occupations. For example, veterinarians are found throughout government in roles where they contribute to environmental quality, homeland security, research and public policy.
Many veterinarians are engaged in work at the intersection of both human and animal health. For example, veterinarians play an important role in food safety, where epidemiological research is crucial to forecasting the threat of food-borne disease outbreaks. Veterinarians work to keep cattle, poultry and other food animals healthy by developing and testing various farm control methods that help to detect, limit, and prevent the spread of food that might be contaminated by salmonella, E coli or other pathogens. They are often on the front lines of surveillance where their extensive medical training can help them to detect and treat the outbreak of diseases that have the potential to make the jump from animals to humans.
Veterinarians earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree which generally takes four years to complete.
Take the first step toward becoming a veterinarian
Your path to veterinary school begins by earning your undergraduate degree and completing any prerequisite coursework at Carroll University. Our advisors will work with you every step of the way to ensure your success. We also provide additional resources to help you build a strong graduate school application, research schools, prepare for graduate interviews and more. Students interested in veterinary medicine can select from a wide variety of majors at Carroll, as long as they complete the courses required by the veterinary college of their choice. Biology and biochemistry are the most popular options, but other major options include animal behavior, psychology or communication. Outside of the required coursework, Carroll pre-vet students benefit from developing valuable research skills within courses or working independently with a faculty member.
Many veterinary colleges do not require students to complete their bachelor’s degree before enrolling in veterinary school, although a large majority of students who enter veterinary college do so after they complete their undergraduate degree. Carroll does have a mechanism whereby exceptional students who choose to enroll in veterinary school after their junior year can transfer certain first year veterinary school courses back to complete their Carroll degree.