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Become A Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

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Working As A Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine Do

Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.

Duties

Veterinarians typically do the following:

  • Examine animals to diagnose their health problems
  • Treat and dress wounds
  • Perform surgery on animals
  • Test for and vaccinate against diseases
  • Operate medical equipment, such as x-ray machines
  • Advise animal owners about general care, medical conditions, and treatments
  • Prescribe medication
  • Euthanize animals

Veterinarians treat the injuries and illnesses of pets and other animals with a variety of medical equipment, including surgical tools and x-ray and ultrasound machines. They provide treatment for animals that is similar to the services a physician provides to treat humans.

The following are examples of types of veterinarians:

Companion animal veterinarians treat pets and generally work in private clinics and hospitals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 75 percent of veterinarians who work in private clinical practice treat pets. They most often care for cats and dogs, but also treat other pets, such as birds, ferrets, and rabbits. These veterinarians diagnose and provide treatment for animal health problems, consult with owners of animals about preventive healthcare, and carry out medical and surgical procedures, such as vaccinations, dental work, and setting fractures.

Equine veterinarians work with horses. In 2014, about 6 percent of private practice veterinarians diagnosed and treated horses.

Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep, which are raised to be food sources. In 2014, about 7 percent of private practice veterinarians treated food animals. They spend much of their time at farms and ranches treating illnesses and injuries and testing for and vaccinating against disease. They may advise owners or managers about feeding, housing, and general health practices.

Food safety and inspection veterinarians inspect and test livestock and animal products for major animal diseases, provide vaccines to treat animals, enhance animal welfare, conduct research to improve animal health, and enforce government food safety regulations. They design and administer animal and public health programs for the prevention and control of diseases transmissible among animals and between animals and people.

Research veterinarians work in laboratories, conducting clinical research on human and animal health problems. These veterinarians may perform tests on animals to identify the effects of drug therapies, or they may test new surgical techniques. They may also research how to prevent, control, and eliminate food- and animal-borne illnesses and diseases.

Some veterinarians become postsecondary teachers at colleges and universities.

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How To Become A Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited veterinary college and a state license.

Education

Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. There are currently 30 colleges with accredited programs in the United States. A veterinary medicine program generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components.

Although not required, most applicants to veterinary school have a bachelor’s degree. Veterinary medical colleges typically require applicants to have taken many science classes, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, zoology, microbiology, and animal science. Most programs also require math, humanities, and social science courses.

Admission to veterinary programs is competitive, and less than half of all applicants were accepted in 2014.

In veterinary medicine programs, students take courses on animal anatomy and physiology, as well as disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Most programs include 3 years of classroom, laboratory, and clinical work. Students typically spend the final year of the 4-year program doing clinical rotations in a veterinary medical center or hospital.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Veterinarians must be licensed in order to practice in the United States. Licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require prospective veterinarians to complete an accredited veterinary program and to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Veterinarians working for the state or federal government may not be required to have a state license, because each agency has different requirements.

Most states not only require the national exam but also have a state exam that covers state laws and regulations. Few states accept licenses from other states, so veterinarians who want to be licensed in another state usually must take that state’s exam.

The American Veterinary Medical Association offers certification in 40 specialties, such as surgery, microbiology, and internal medicine. Although certification is not required for veterinarians, it can show exceptional skill and expertise in a particular field. To sit for a specialty certification exam, veterinarians must have a certain number of years of experience in the field, complete additional education, and complete a residency program, typically lasting 3 to 4 years. Requirements vary by specialty.

Other Experience

Some veterinary medical colleges weigh experience heavily during the admissions process. Formal experience, such as previous work with veterinarians or scientists in clinics, agribusiness, research, or some area of health science, is particularly advantageous. Less formal experience, such as working with animals on a farm, at a stable, or in an animal shelter, can also be helpful.

Although graduates of a veterinary program can begin practicing once they receive their license, some veterinarians pursue further education and training. Some new veterinary graduates enter internship or residency programs to gain specialized experience.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Veterinarians must be compassionate when working with animals and their owners. They must treat animals with kindness and respect, and must be sensitive when dealing with the animal owners.

Communication skills. Strong communication skills are essential for veterinarians, who must be able to discuss their recommendations and explain treatment options to animal owners and give instructions to their staff.

Decisionmaking skills. Veterinarians must decide the correct method for treating the injuries and illnesses of animals. For instance, deciding to euthanize a sick animal can be difficult.

Management skills. Management skills are important for veterinarians who manage private clinics or laboratories, or direct teams of technicians or inspectors. In these settings, they are responsible for providing direction, delegating work, and overseeing daily operations.

Manual dexterity. Manual dexterity is important for veterinarians, because they must control their hand movements and be precise when treating injuries and performing surgery.

Problem-solving skills. Veterinarians need strong problem-solving skills because they must figure out what is ailing animals. Those who test animals to determine the effects of drug therapies also need excellent diagnostic skills.

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Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine Demographics

Gender

Female

51.9%

Male

44.3%

Unknown

3.8%
Ethnicity

White

40.1%

Hispanic or Latino

29.6%

Unknown

11.8%

Asian

11.0%

Black or African American

7.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.3%

Korean

14.3%

Bengali

7.1%

Hindi

7.1%

French

7.1%
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Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine Education

Schools

University of the Sacred Heart

12.0%

Temple University

12.0%

International Institute of Chinese Medicine

8.0%

Cairn University

4.0%

New York University

4.0%

Samra University of Oriental Medicine

4.0%

University of Florida

4.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.0%

Miami Dade College

4.0%

Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine

4.0%

Washington State University

4.0%

Illinois College

4.0%

Purdue University

4.0%

Central New Mexico Community College

4.0%

Bastyr University

4.0%

Long Beach City College

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Saint Petersburg College

4.0%

Central State University

4.0%

Stanford University

4.0%
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Majors

Medicine

27.4%

Alternative And Complementary Medicine And Medical Systems

18.9%

Veterinary Medicine

10.5%

Nursing

7.4%

Biology

5.3%

Podiatric Medicine

5.3%

Public Health

3.2%

Pharmacy

3.2%

Animal Science

3.2%

Education

3.2%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Advanced Dentistry And Oral Sciences

2.1%

Sociology

1.1%

Psychology

1.1%

Veterinary Science

1.1%

Medical Technician

1.1%

Health Sciences And Services

1.1%

Health Education

1.1%

Management

1.1%

Area Studies

1.1%
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Degrees

Doctorate

30.8%

Other

26.2%

Masters

19.6%

Bachelors

17.8%

Certificate

2.8%

Associate

1.9%

Diploma

0.9%
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Real Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine California Veterinary Specialists, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Sep 24, 2013 $160,000
Sleep Medicine Doctor Sleep Medicine Associates, LLC Manchester, CT Oct 08, 2009 $143,749 -
$240,000
Doctor of Medicine Morris Heights Health Center New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $140,000
Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC Colorado Springs, CO Oct 01, 2013 $138,216
Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC Colorado Springs, CO Aug 14, 2016 $136,698
Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC Colorado Springs, CO Aug 13, 2016 $136,698
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Del Valle Veterinary Services, Inc. McAllen, TX Apr 13, 2015 $130,438
Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC Colorado Springs, CO Sep 04, 2013 $129,522
Doctors of Dental Medicine, LLP Doctors of Dental Medicine, LLP Dayton, NJ Mar 24, 2014 $125,742
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Partner Medical Management International, Inc. Springfield, PA Feb 15, 2012 $115,000
Doctor of Medicine/Pediatrician United Medical Centers Eagle Pass, TX Apr 15, 2010 $115,000
Managing Doctor of Veterinary Medicine NVA Arizona Veterinary Services Inc. Yuma, AZ Jan 05, 2016 $100,000
Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Gatordoc, P.A. Fayetteville, NC Oct 01, 2014 $80,000
Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Sandy Island Dog, PLLC Jacksonville, NC Oct 01, 2011 $80,000
Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Gatordoc, P.A. Fayetteville, NC Sep 01, 2013 $78,520
Doctor of Oriental Medicine Medical Holistic Center New Smyrna Beach, FL Oct 01, 2011 $78,263
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine DR. John David McGee, PC Bullhead City, AZ Oct 01, 2013 $77,896
Nutritionist and Integrative Medicine Doctor Do It Moving Human Performance Inc. CA Dec 28, 2016 $62,610
Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine NVA Kem Road Veterinary Management, Inc. Marion, IN Aug 26, 2014 $62,000
Doctor of Oriental Medicine Compassion Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic, Inc. Orlando, FL Oct 01, 2014 $60,000
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine Richard H Graves DPM Inc. Long Beach, CA Jul 31, 2012 $60,000
Doctor In Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Kirkpatrick Veterinary Hospital, P.A. Orlando, FL Jul 08, 2011 $60,000 -
$65,000
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine D'Adamo Institute for The Advancement of Natural T Portsmouth, NH Feb 01, 2011 $60,000 -
$100,000
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Dadamo Institute for The Advancement Natural Thera Portsmouth, NH Feb 01, 2011 $60,000 -
$100,000
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine Richard H Graves DPM Inc. Long Beach, CA Sep 30, 2012 $60,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

Average Yearly Salary
$57,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$148,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Dublin, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
5.6 years
How much does a Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine in the United States is $57,149 per year or $27 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $148,000.

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Top Skills for A Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

  1. Chronic Illnesses
  2. Clinical Staff
  3. Medical Records
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Updated medical records for clinic patients Collaborated in the control, diagnostic and treatment of epidemics such as Dengue and Cholera.
  • Attend mental health emergency room for minors.
  • Administer health care using modalities of Traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Bring emergency medical cares for patient in critical medical condition
  • Doctor of veterinary medicine Collected specimens and performed laboratory tests.

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Top 10 Best States for Doctors Of Veterinary Medicine

  1. Alaska
  2. Maryland
  3. South Carolina
  4. New Jersey
  5. Delaware
  6. Connecticut
  7. California
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. New York
  • (12 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (221 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (125 jobs)

Top Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine Employers

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