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Veterinarian

Veterinarian

Veterinarians are doctors who diagnose and treat the diseases and injuries of animals. Their duties vary depending on the specific type of practice or specialization. In North America, 80 percent of veterinarians are in private practice. The remaining 20 percent work at zoos, inspect meat and poultry for the federal or state government, teach at veterinary universities, or conduct research. When serving in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Public Health Service, veterinarians are commissioned officers.

Veterinarians who practice general veterinary medicine are similar to family practitioners. They carry out a number of health services, including giving general checkups, administering tests and immunizations, and advising pet owners on feeding, exercising, and grooming. Veterinarians are called upon to perform routine spaying or neutering, as well as surgery to correct a health problem. Most veterinarians treat small animals and pets exclusively, but others specialize in larger animals such as cattle, horses, and sheep. Veterinarians usually have set office hours, although they may be called to take care of an emergency at any time. Large-animal veterinarians may also be required to visit a farm or ranch when an animal is injured, ill, or expected to give birth under difficult circumstances.

A veterinarian must get along with animals and should have an interest in science. There are a limited number of colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States, and entrance is competitive. Individuals must complete six years of college to receive a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree. Coursework during the first two years emphasizes physical and biological science. The remaining four years involve classroom work; practical experience in diagnosing and treating animal diseases; surgery; lab courses in anatomy and biochemistry; and other scientific and medical studies. In addition, veterinarians are required to pass an examination in the state, including the District of Columbia, in which they wish to practice.

Stephanie A. Lanoue

Bibliography

Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. Chicago: Ferguson Publishing Company, 2000.

Field, Shelley. 100 Best Careers for the Year 2000. New York: Prentice Hall, 1992.

VGM's Careers Encyclopedia, 4th ed. Chicago: NTC Publishing Group, 1997.

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Veterinarian

Veterinarian

Becoming a veterinarian is a challenging yet rewarding process. A veterinarian is someone who has earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or a Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD) degree from an accredited college or university. The veterinary program consists of four years of a combination of lecture classes, practical laboratory work, and clinical experience. Many veterinary programs allow students to choose an area of emphasis (usually small animals, equine, food animals, exotic animals, or mixed), although this varies among programs. While an undergraduate degree is not required to enter a veterinary program, the great majority of veterinary students have a degree, usually a Bachelor of Science in a biological science, and many may also have a Master of Science degree. Every veterinary program's entry requirements are different, but most include undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, biochemistry, animal science, and animal nutrition. The high school student interested in pursuing a veterinary degree would be wise to take as many science and math courses as possible. Experience in handling animals is also a necessity for admission to a veterinary program, whether in a paid position or on a volunteer basis. Excellent grades are necessary: entrance into a veterinary program is very competitive because of the small number of veterinary programs in the United States.

The great majority of veterinarians are employed in private practice, but this is not the only employment opportunity. Veterinarians are needed in government to serve on medical and agricultural committees, to inspect meat and meat products, and to work in laboratories. Colleges and universities hire veterinarians to teach undergraduate and graduate courses and to conduct research. Overseas veterinary mission and Peace Corps work is available. Large research and pharmaceutical companies often have veterinarians on their staffs. A veterinary degree is extremely versatile and useful, particularly when combined with an undergraduate degree in a biological science.

Amy L. Massengill

Bibliography

Hurwitz, Jane. Choosing a Career in Animal Care. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1999.

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veterinarian

vet·er·i·nar·i·an / ˌvet(ə)rəˈne(ə)rēən/ • n. a person qualified to treat diseased or injured animals.

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"veterinarian." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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veterinarian

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•Carthusian, Malthusian, Venusian

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"veterinarian." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"veterinarian." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/veterinarian