Comparative Medicine

Careers in Veterinary Medicine

Clinical Practice

After 4 years of veterinary school, passing national and state boards, you can be a practicing clinician in the following areas – small animal, farm animal, mixed practice, equine, exotics (birds, reptiles, pocket pets), or feline only. You can work for an established practice, open your own practice, have a “mobile” practice, work for the military, or in public health.

Board specialties

If you wish to focus in one of the following specialties (listed below) in order to work at a referral practice or to become an academic vet in a university – you will need additional education after veterinary school in the form of an internship and residency program (3-5 years total), either at a veterinary school, or in a large, approved specialty practice. Internships and residencies pay a stipend while in training, and the quality of these specialty programs can vary greatly from one institution to another. Therefore careful screening of individual school's reputations for such programs is essential. After completing a residency, you sit for a “Board” exam and become “board certified” and a Diplomate of the appropriate college.

Veterinary Pathologists and Laboratory Animal Veterinarians often seek research degrees (MS, Ph.D) as well as boards. Veterinarians in these two disciplines are often employed in industry settings such as pharmaceutical or biotech companies, as well as in medical schools, where research (independent or collaborative) is a key component of their jobs.

In general, however, there is a VERY strong push for more veterinarians to go in to research, and many schools have combined DVM/Ph.D programs. Some schools have combined DVM/MBA (masters in business administration) or DVM/MPH (masters in public health) programs. In addition several veterinary schools and comparative medicine departments offer summer research programs for veterinary students (such as Stanford's Comparative Medicine Summer Fellowship for Veterinary Students) as well as PhD training for veterinarians.

Your possibilities are endless!!

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