Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Why Is Vet School Harder To Get Into Than Medical School?

nhsvsnhsvs Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
A friend of mine was recently admitted to veterinary school and she told me that admission to vet school is actually more competitive than admission to medical school. I did a little research and she appears to be correct -- vet school admission statistics are brutal and there are actually more prerequisite undergraduate courses required for vet school than med school. GPAs and test scores for admitted applicants are comparable to medical school. Vet schools also seem to require significant work experience with animals prior to admission and most applicants don't get in on the first try. This really surprises me. It's not that I don't realize that veterinarians are medical doctors, and I know that applicants to vet school are well qualified academically, but I guess that I always assumed that medical school was a tougher admit. Anybody else surprised by this?
Post edited by nhsvs on

Replies to: Why Is Vet School Harder To Get Into Than Medical School?

  • KoreanBoi92KoreanBoi92 Registered User Posts: 1,248 Member
    It's probably because there aren't as many vet schools in the US. I believe there are only like 50-60 vet schools nationwide. I think there are a few hundred medical schools(M.D and D.O). So vet school admission is considerably tougher.
  • dvm2009dvm2009 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Actually, there are 28 vet schools in the US and Canada that are accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). Med school is where people go who couldn't get into vet school. It really is that competitive. I'm at Ok State and when I applied there were over 400 applications for 78 spots. The larger schools on the left and right coasts get an even greater number of applicants for a very similar number of seats. Early on in vet school, we were told that there were something like 100,000 new MDs and 60,000 lawyers graduated every year. For vets, there are just over 2,000 per year. Your friend is pretty much right on the money.
  • nhsvsnhsvs Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    ^Too bad that vets don't make the same kind of incomes that physicians and attorneys do! Doesn't really seem fair considering the caliber of academic credentials that applicants need to get admitted to vet school, not to mention their commitment to another four years of very difficult course work while in vet school.
  • BigGBigG Registered User Posts: 3,885 Senior Member
    No one has to go to Vet school. They do not draft students. There are no vet school "press gangs"; "Come with us and learn to help sick cows or we will beat you up".

    People who can be successful as vets have other options. They choose to be vets.
  • CaseSpartan10CaseSpartan10 Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    Med school isn't "where people go who couldn't get into vet school." You know, alot of people (far more than vets) want to be medical doctors. They're two different fields that attract people with different interests.

    Anyways, it probably is because there are only 28 accredited vet schools, and something like 130 med schools (that was a total guess, but you get the idea).
  • College202College202 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    You can't really compare the two. Everyone who goes to vet school goes there because they want to be a vet. Lots of people go to medical or law school because it is a direct path to a high income and prestige. I've never met a vet who hated his/her job. It seems like most lawyers and a surprising number of docs would rather be doing something else. I'm really surprised that the vet school mentioned only had 400 applicants for 78 slots. Doesn't seem very competitive. Some PhD fields accept 3-5% of applicants-again like everyone has said, it's a number game. When there are only a few slots and its a field a lot of people want, competition can be intense. I don't completely agree that med school is for people who can't get into vet school-but I'm sure there are more people who give up on their vet dream and go to medical school than vice versa.
  • luveydovey93luveydovey93 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    I agree with everybody else. There are only very very very few Vet Colleges. I know some of the best ones are Columbia and Stanford. I think UPenn has it too. It's very competitive. Also, when applying, always apply to a LOT. Usually, if you send application to 2 Vet Grad Schools, there is a very high chance you won't get it. And even though they don't get paid as much, they are very happy!
  • strykermomstrykermom Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    I don't think that Columbia or Stanford have veterinary schools. They may have undergrad programs that prepare you well for admission to a Vet college. My daughter hopes to be a vet, but she will have to bring her GPA up a half a point or so.
  • rangeladyrangelady Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    Columbia and Stanford do not have Veterinary Schools. Why is vet school tougher to get in to than med school? Simple, because more folks are applying for the spots available. Only 28 AVMA accredited programs nationwide.

    Very few rejected vet applicants end up at medical school. Not a fair comparison at all. Two totally different career paths.

    I do know a vet who dislikes his work. Happens in every profession. More a case of not knowing one's self well enough to choose a career path that will bring satisfaction.
  • IZahiriIZahiri Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    There are less vet schools, so competition is +much+ more internse. That's the big enchilada.
  • cbreezecbreeze Registered User Posts: 4,708 Senior Member
    What's the overall acceptance rate to vet schools?

    What's the overall acceptance rate to medical schools? I mean total applicants to the number of spaces available nation wide.
  • Maverick1701Maverick1701 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    While the GPA stats and such tend to be the same for med students and vets students, the standardized testing comes doen to a little different matter. Average MCAT scores for medical students getting into schools of medicine is 30 (out of 45). Average GRE score for a admitted student going into vetrinary medicine is 1350 (out of 1600). Now I realize that I am only one data point in this argument, but when I took the MCAT I got a 32. I took the GRE at about the same time and recieved a 1530. I wanted to get into medical school, so I put more work into preping for the MCAT. Both tracks require significant time invested in shadowing and work done in the applicable clinic, but these are not hard datapoints and are hard to analyze and compare. By my numbers, I would have had a much easier time getting into bet school that medical school. My MCAT is only 5 percentile points above the average admission percentile for medical students, however, my GRE is more than 20 percentile points above admission average for vet school. Does this mean it is easier to get into vet schools? No, I think that it speaks to the comprable level of academic acheivement required for both. But is certainly speaks to the idea that vet school is not harder to get into than medical school, just different. (As an aside, I would never have made it into vet school as all my experience was in human med clinics. I am not saying that I would have been a shoe in at a vet school, just that I was academically above the mean in terms of the admission averages. I took the GRE so that I could go to grad school if I failed to get into med school.)
  • Maverick1701Maverick1701 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    As an answer, I have heard that the numbers are like 40% for med school and 33% for vet school. However acceptance rates bring in a large number of factors not related to competitiveness (from the applicant's perspective). If these statistics were reliable in predicting the competitiveness of certain programs, then one would be lead to believe that PA schools are more competitive than med schools despite the fact that applicant pools to PA schools have significantly lower standardized test scores than medical school applicants. These numbers are somewhat helpful in establishing competitiveness in terms of the slot, but not in terms of the applicant, because the number takes into account the only applicant pool which means that it is not a full data set in terms of the full US population and the total acceptance rate (at current acceptance standards) of those who have not applied to these programs. Acceptance rate takes into account who has decided to persue acceptance. There are a large number of people who want to become PA's because they have found out they are not competitive enough for medical school. These people would bring the acceptance rate for medical schools down if they chose to apply for medical school as there are only a limited number of slots, however, they end up bringing the acceptance rates down for PA programs on the same slot restricted basis. Acceptance rate tells you nothing of the academic requirements for admisssion. Average PA GRE and GPA at a PA school I know of are 1170 and 3.32, respectively. This school accepted 60 out of 770 applicants (7.8%), making it look quite competitive. The numbers at my medical school make it look competitive, but easier than the PA school, we filled 176 slots out of 2000 applicants (8.8%). Average MCAT and GPA for my class was 30 and 3.71, respectively, making it about national average in terms of applicant scores for that year, but higher than the PA school averages. In terms of assessing your competitiveness and difficulty you will have in getting a slot, these numbers are much more helpful than the number of people applying and the number of slots avaliable.
  • jpgilchjpgilch Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    with insurance reimbursement(or lack thereof)today your better off becoming a Vet, or even better get into Veterinary Surgery (ive spent thousands on my dog when he was broke a leg almost completely in half.) And even these pet insurance policies they have nowadays only cover the patient/animal owner for a small portion of the fee
  • mmmcdowemmmcdowe Registered User Posts: 2,353 Senior Member
    People are overestimating the difference in difficulty and also making some assumptions on what one means by "harder". Is it just in terms of applicants versus matriculants? (btw, plenty of medical schools have 1:15-20 matriculant to applicant ratios so I'm not terribly impressed by 78:400 matriculants to applicants. There are also not 100k MDs graduating a year. Even if there were, there aren't 100k residencies so it would be useless There's something like 18,000 spots currently for an applicant base a little more than twice that.) Overall, I believe vet school has a slightly lower matriculant to applicant ratio so if that is your measure of difficulty then perhaps vet school has a slight lead. In terms of difficult based on raw numbers, also not a perfect measure in part because we are assuming that kids are applying and being accepted from the same distribution of undergraduate institutions with the same grade inflation, the GPAs of matriculants are pretty close (within .1 I believe with a slight lead for MD applicants). Standardized testing would be nice to compare but difficult. Basically, in terms of the applicant pool it is more difficult for a vet applicant to get in than an MD applicant, but in terms of matriculant strength there is a slightly higher average for MD schools. It basically can be thought of balancing out so that they are both very hard to get into and both great accomplishments.
This discussion has been closed.