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High schooler interested in vet school?

who.let.the.dogs.outwho.let.the.dogs.out Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I’m currently in high school and have heard that I should take as many higher classes on biology, math, and chem. Besides from that, what do you recommend I learn to become a veterinary or any basic stuff I should learn about animals during the weekend or when I have time.

I will be taking a veterinary shadow program once I’m 16 in order to get a feel and I have looked at veterinary surgery on YouTube so it is something I feel comfortable with doing.

Replies to: High schooler interested in vet school?

  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    My son is in his second year of undergraduate school and has been accepted in an early admission to vet school program. In high school the key is to take what you need to get into the college you desire. Pick a college that you can get good grades and no debt! The prestige of the college isn't a big factor. Pick one that offers the prerequisites vet schools want. I would say AP chem, biology and physics are good. Shadow as many vets as you can. Volunteer or work as a vet assistant, volunteer at animal rescues or shelters. Get hours working with animals any way you can. Make sure you understand the positives and negatives of the career.
  • chestie69chestie69 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member

    I decided at a young age that I wanted to be a veterinarian (and I am currently a 3rd year vet student). Unfortunately, as you are probably learning; the road to earning a DVM is not easy. Most veterinarians spend 7-8 years in college: between undergrad and vet school. As far as high school requirements, I was actually homeschooled and did not have any AP classes. So you will definitely be a leg up coming into college with credits. That is one of the biggest things I regret about homeschooling.

    Job opportunities and options for veterinarians are plenty. From private practice, corporate practice, research to government - the job opportunities are basically endless. On the flip side, the amount of student loan debt recent veterinarians have is crushing. This is mainly due to the on going rise in vet school tuition. As an example, in 2000 in-state tuition for vet students at Kansas State University was $5,674 per year. Now in-state tuition at K-state is pushing $25,000. Nearly a 450% increase in 18 years! And K-state is not alone - this is occurring at every vet school in the nation.

    The average student loan debt for 2017 graduates was $144,000. And over 25% have debt above $200,000. While the average starting salary for 2017 grads was $73,000. $73k might sound like a lot of money right now, however, recent graduates are finding it difficult to get approval for auto loans and housing mortgages due to their high debt burden.

    While I am not trying to discourage you from attending vet school, I want to educate you on the harsh reality of the costs and financial strain most recent veterinarians face.

    If you are not aware, vet school admission is based on state residency. More seats are available to in-state residents than non-residents. In addition, it is generally cheaper to go to your in-state vet school. (There are a few caveat to this but I won’t go into them here)

    Shadowing a veterinarian is the best way to understand the field and know if it is something you truly want to pursue. While veterinary medicine is treating animals, the majority of the vet's time is spent with humans. In reality it is a people job not an animal. There is a lot of time spent communicating with owners and explaining treatment options. I would also recommend that you choose a major in college that enables for a back-up plan. I did not get accepted into vet school on my first attempt and I was thankful my major enabled me a great job opportunity outside of vet med.

    Best luck to you on the road ahead. It may be a long tough road but hopefully it will be worth it.
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