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Could vet school be for me?

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  • Could vet school be for me?

    I've been mulling over seriously applying to vet school next fall. I have my BS in Biomedical Sciences with fairly good grades (3.6 I think...) that meets pretty much all the "educational" requirements. I would need to take the GREs or MCATs depending on where I would apply and either volunteer or work with a vet. I know I'm looking at 4 more years of school (ugh!) plus an internship. That's the nuts and bolts of it.

    I have a decent job as it is, pays the bills, good benefits, chances for promotion/career movement... I do not enjoy this job! I guess I miss being outside, having a "physical" job and the variety that comes with working with horses, so I had a moment of possible brilliance with this vet school idea. I've also been told by more than one vet that I've come up with "good ideas/plans" in the treatment of my horse. I know I have the brain, I'm lacking in the desire department. I would most likely stay with horses, maybe large animal, but I think I would love to specialize in lameness issues.

    Things that are holding me back:
    - How will I support myself and horse through vet school?
    - I'm getting married next September, how will I spend time with DH (we have a lovely house) when the closest school is 3 hours in any direction?!? I'm looking at Cornell, Guelph, Ohio State, U Penn, Tufts...
    - Do I really want more student loans?
    - How long would this curtail my riding goals (I reeeally want to do a 1* before I'm too chicken!)?
    - Would this job even give me the time to enjoy my horse and DH?
    - I'm an Army Reservist, so I have other commitments to consider as well. I'm not in a job that is in great danger of being mobilized, but we are a busy company in the Spring and Summer. But they do offer education benefits (my GI Bill stops in 2013)!

    Keep in mind I have basically a year to apply for the next "class" and another before classes even start, so hypothetically speaking I have ~2 years before I'd set foot in a classroom. I'm also going to try to talk to the 2 vets that hunt with me on their opinions/experiences.

    Thanks for bearing with my stream of consciousness! Any thoughts are more than welcome!

  • #2
    I just graduated with my BS in Animal Science. SInce i was a freshman, all of my friends were going to vet school; but it wasnt for me

    I know a couple who got married in the middle of vet school and they manage, but they are also both going to vet school.

    Vet school is ALOT of work; so be prepared for the extreme amount of workload, research, etc that you will have to do in order to be a doctor. Remember; vet school is ten times harder than becomming a human doctor because it isn't just one species.

    Watching friends apply and apply through the years; i will be the first to tell you that good grades isn't the only thing that is going to get you accepted to vet school. I knew friends who were denied because of one or two just satisfactory grades on their transcript,,,so they took a year off and had to retakke those classs and get better grades. Right now; theyre all re-applying.

    Also; its expensive to apply to vet school. It usually boils out to about $150-$200+ to apply to one school. Now, you can't just apply to one school. All of my friends applied to 10-15 schools and i'll be honest, they'll only hear back from a handful, if that. Now understand that attending vet school is extremely, extremely expensive (which is one of the reasons why i never went). Be prepared for vet school to put you into debt. Also, a new vet doesn't start out making much money...and not all vets make 100K. Don't be surprised to only be making 25K-45K a year once you graduate.

    If you are serious about starting vet school next year, your applications need to be in the mail right now. be prepare dto write really well and have a long list of hands on experience with animals, college clubs, etc. The more formal experience you have under your belt...especially involving research AND animals...the better your chances.

    I wish you the best of luck; just keep in mind what vet school is going to entail....


    • #3
      If you're serious about applying to vet school the first step is to get first hand experience in a vet clinic/working under a vet. The majority of people accepted to vet school have thousands of hours shadowing/working for a vet in many aspects of the field. You need to show depth as well as variety in your experience and most schools want to see at least 100 hours in different categories of vet med (equine, small animal, food animal, lab animal, etc).

      Your GPA is average for a vet school candidate which is pretty good but you'll most likely need some other strengths on your app to really stand out to an ad comm.

      Vet school is expensive, time consuming and stressful but as long as you know that going in you should be fine. I have my handsful with just classes, my dogs and one horse with me but many of my classmates are married with kids and doing just fine. Your SO needs to be aware of the extreme demands going in however or I could see potential problems developing.
      A typical week for me in vet school is to go to class from 8-5 every day and do 3-4 hours of studying/note condensing every night. On the weekends I generally end up in the vet school once each day to either study in the anatomy or histology lab in addition to 3 or so hours of note review/study each day. I give myself one night off each week (friday night) to do nothing but I'm someone that needs to work pretty hard to keep up with the extreme volume of material. I have many classmates that almost never study outside of class and are doing just fine so it's all very personal.

      I would highly suggest checking out these forums:

      There's a lot of really great information there from a lot of successful applicants as well as pre-vets that are very experienced in the application process. Good luck!


      • #4
        I did my undergrad at Guelph and considered applying, but after talking to people I knew in the program I realized I didn't really have a chance because of lack of experience. They really look at the amount of experience working with animals, especially large animals, and not just a summer shadowing a vet. The people who were applying all had seriously extensive experience working on farms (theirs or other farms), agricultural shows and with vets. The school looked at, I suppose, proof of commitment, and preferred people who could demonstrate that they had been committed to working with animals in some way for years.

        I have no idea how hard it is to get into US schools. In Canada because of the scarcity of vet schools it's very hard.
        Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


        • Original Poster

          I have always known that vet school is PITA to get into and that awesome grades are helpful, but not the end all in the application process.

          I do have lots of horse experience from working at the STB track and trainers, 2 working student positions in eventing and general horse farm work. My current job as a Lab Tech will also be an asset, though my animal work is limited since we have another Tech who performs all of our animal surgeries. I will be looking into interning/volunteering with local vets (I have 2 equine specialists in mind at the moment) fairly soon.

          As far as money, yep knew it was going to be horribly expensive and salary is not much once I graduate. This was one of the reasons I didn't want to go this route the first time around in college! My current Army contract gives me some help, but the Army does have a vet "program" which in my case if I were to commission as an officer they would pay for ALL tuition! Of course then I belong to the Army as an officer as opposed to an NCO which could change my home address...

          I have lots of things to cover/consider before I get in too far over my head!