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Tips for future vet?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello all! I am a 17 year old senior in Highschool. After Highschool, I plan on becoming a veterinarian. To be successful I need to be around an actual vet and witness their practices. I have tried really hard to get a job at vet's office and have even tried volunteering. No one will give me the time of day. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could achieve my goal? Thank you!
post #2 of 12
The first thing you should maybe try is volunteering at an animal shelter. They are always looking for people to help out and this will be your first step towards working with animals. If you have the time and resources, you can also try your hand at wildlife rescue. Perhaps call the wildlife rescue organisations in your area and ask if they need any volunteers or foster homes for recovering animals.

Once you've done this, the vets mayy be more inclined to let you volunteer at their practices as you've had some experience with working with animals.

Good luck.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you! Wildlife Rescue sounds exciting!
post #4 of 12
If you know you want to become a vet, then find a good veterinary school, and do whatever it takes to get into it.

If you think you want to become a vet, but would like a chance to get some good experience before hand. Find a community college and get your veterinary technician certification.

With lawsuits and drug issues occurring, many veterinarians will not accecpt voulunteers, without a solid personal reference, or curriculum vitae, also it's a tough field to get a position in anyways because so many people truely want to be there. The veterinarian doesn't make much money, so he can't always support a large staff, unlike hospitals and doctors, which seem to have a much more consistent cash flow. Human Nursing is one of the fastest growing industries.

Volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary MIGHT help you out in regards to becoming a veterinarian, however it will definately help out the organization and will give you a chance to learn a lot more about various animals.

One last thought, a large percentage of Human Medical doctors started out wanting to be veterinarians, most of them changed their focus upon finding out how demanding the degree really is, and how little appreciated it can be. Veterinary school is probably one of the hardest degrees to earn, especially in a good school. American schools operate in a very heavily regulated manner, which is actually a negative to some degree, because it makes it harder to get significant amounts of hands on experience. There are a few international schools that are extremely well regarded, and which partner with american schools to provide the best education possible for future veterinarians.

The school that I would reccomend if you really want to become a veterinarian is Ross University.


post #5 of 12
I was Pre-Veterinary myself once and here is my BIGGEST piece of advice...

Don't give it up for a MAN!
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by PrissyKitty
I was Pre-Veterinary myself once and here is my BIGGEST piece of advice...

Don't give it up for a MAN!
...Or anything else for that matter

post #7 of 12
Well it's a long story, but I had to quit school to work full time to support my ex-husband's drug habit. At first it was just cutting back my classes to M-W-F and working the other days. Then he wrecked my truck and I had no choice. Hey at least I got some experience working at Petco...

The funny thing is, my best friend I met in girl scout camp when I was 12 just finished vet school this year. She wen't to St. Kitts if I remember correctly.
post #8 of 12
I would say that you have been given great advice so far. Volunteering for an animal shelter that has a vet on staff would be the way to go. After being there awhile, you could perhaps ask him or her if there is anyway you can help out in that area.

But realistically just walking off the street and asking vets to hire you because of what you want- what they want and need is someone with experience that knows how to hold an animal, how to draw blood, how to fill out charts, and who doesn't mind cleaning cages and doing the sludge work too.

Just try and get into the right vet school and apply yourself that way. Don't give up on the dream- and good luck!
post #9 of 12
...and after you get your wonderful conventional veterinary degree from distinguished places like Cornell (more traditional) or Tufts (more liberal), you should continue increasing your knowledge by exploring alternative holistic practices like acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, etc.

So not only will you have excellent allopathic veterinary knowledge, you'll be holistically-trained as well.

Ok, maybe that's more of a far-reaching long-term goal.
post #10 of 12
I just wanted to wish you luck and strength in this journey! I wanted to be a vet very badly as a teenager, specializing in equines, but honestly I just didn't make the grades in high school to even be considered. Good for you for being so ambitious! Please keep us posted as you travel down this road.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your great advice. For pre-vet I think I might be attending the University of Missouri. They have their own seperate vet school as well as pre-vet and its close to home. Being in the midwest, I believe, might be an advantage. Thank you all again.
post #12 of 12
I just thought I'd point out this website: www.uoguelph.ca/~fvc

Yes, it's a Canadian University based club, but you can get some good suggestions there, and the mesage board sometimes gets people who aren't interested specifically in the Ontario Vet College.

I'm surprised to hear you're having a hard time finding a vet clinic to volunteer at... there may be something in how you're going about it.

Personally, I started at a large hospital in Ottawa doing a Job Shadow day in grade 9 - then I volunteered there every weekend, until one of the founding partners felt I was too young (14) and was nervous about something happening to me.

Once I hit 16 I hit the market, and found a small, one doctor practice. This place is exceptionally understaffed more often then not and what they need volunteers for is to keep the place clean. What you have to realize it that no matter where you volunteer, that's going to be your first responsability: cleaning. Sweeping, mopping, washign dishes, cleaning cages, etc. If you stick with it and show you are responsible and reliable you may be invited to help with more "hands on" tasks - lab work, restraining, etc. Also, when I applied at this particular hospital, I submitted a resume with a cover letter indicating I wished to volunteer there. This professional approach impressed them.

After a couple years, I did my high school co-op term at that same hospital, and within a month of begining that I was hired there. I worked there until I moved here to Guelph

Now, Ottawa has a lot of vet clinics, and is more of a human medicine university town. Guelph, on the other hand, is oversaturated with wannabe vets, so getting a volunteer position here was tough. However, there are always places that are always in need: i volunteered in the Large Animal Hospital in the Neoatal Intensive Care Unit (they need people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - so even if you have no experience, they'll take you!) and now I also volunteer at the Humane Society, which is rewarding and beneficial (my supervisor is a vet!)

I'm nto familiar with the school you're planning to attend, but it's never to early to look into the application process and to keep itin mind when trying to gain experience. The Ontario Vet College requires 3 references, and it is now stressed that 2 of them really should be from veterinarians. Also, from speaking with staff at the OVC I know that they look for more then just good marks and animal experience. They want well rounded people, they want people who "don't have blinders on" They want people who have experienced more then one aspect of the veterinary profession (it's not just small animal practice!). They want people who have people skills (i.e. even volunteering somewhere that doesn't involve animals at all, but shows great people or business or SOMETHING skills, is a plus)

If this is what you really want, stick with it and don't let other people get you down. If you're attending a "pre-vet" university you'll be immersed in competitiveness from day 1 - I know I was, attending the University of Guelph. I've chosen to finish a BSc before applying to vet school, and I've been condescended on by people who apply as early as they can (after 2 or 3 years) and feel I must not *really* want to be a vet. (and I do - I just want something to fall back on in case I don't get in. 300+ people apply every year, and they only take about 100)

Best of luck

.maggie (incidently, president of the Future Vets Club )
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