Different Types of Veterinarians
Becoming a Veterinarian
Becoming a veterinarian requires a high degree of education, comparable to that needed to become a physician. In addition to their specialized education, most individuals seeking to become vets will have completed a science based bachelor’s degree program to prepare themselves to successfully complete their veterinary program.
In most cases, a veterinary program takes at least four years to complete. As these are intensive programs that include classroom, laboratory and clinical components, there are no part-time veterinarian programs in the United States. Furthermore, most programs have extremely competitive entry requirements, making it important that any candidate be able to demonstrate his or her qualifications when seeking entry.
the United States, veterinary programs are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It is important that any candidate ensure that his or her program is currently accredited, as most states will not accept diplomas from programs that have not been accredited. Students who have graduated from a foreign veterinary program must be able to show that it is equal to an AVMA accredited program as a part of their licensure process.
Types of Vets
Veterinarians provide medical care to animals, just as medical doctors do for humans. Their training process is also similar, consisting of a four-year undergraduate degree and a four-year doctorate. Veterinarians can also choose to specialize, completing internships or two to four years of supervised residency to gain experience in a narrower area of practice. Several career paths are open to veterinarians.
Many veterinarians work in private practice, either as sole practitioners or as part of a larger group practice. There are three major types of practice, and vets might specialize in any one or more of the three. Companion animal veterinarians work primarily with household pets, such as dogs or cats. Equine vets focus on the care and treatment of horses, while farm-animal practices provide care to cattle, hogs, poultry and other animals raised commercially.
Like doctors who treat humans, some veterinarians are general practitioners and some choose to specialize. Many of these specialties correspond directly to specialties chosen by physicians. For example, veterinary ophthalmologists diagnose and treat eye diseases and impaired vision in animals. Orthopedic veterinarians treat injuries and conditions of the spine and musculoskeletal system, including the major joints. Other veterinarians might choose to specialize in the treatment of animal populations with distinctly different needs, such as wild animal care or marine animal care.
Research Veterinarians and Veterinary Epidemiologists
Diseases in animals can have significant consequences for humans as well. Losing a pet is emotionally stressful, but an outbreak affecting one of the major food species can bankrupt farmers or damage the entire food industry. Worse, some diseases are zoonotic, meaning they can spread from animals to humans. Research veterinarians investigate the causes of animal diseases and congenital medical conditions, while veterinary epidemiologists study the mechanisms of disease transmission. Both can find well-paying careers in private industry or in government service.
One of the most crucial roles in any skilled profession is education, passing along a body of detailed knowledge to a new generation of practitioners. The Association of American Veterinary colleges notes on its website that up to 40 percent of current veterinary college and training hospital faculty could retire within the next decade, creating a major shortage in the field. With only 28 colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States, and with many more applicants than program spaces, the profession can ill afford any reduction in its training capacity.
Types of Veterinarian Jobs in High Demand
The Field of Veterinary Medicine Has Many Jobs for Vets
Most pet owners think of veterinarians as animal pet doctors working in a veterinary or animal hospital or clinic. However, the field veterinary medicine is very board with many different aspects and jobs that a veterinarian can peruse.
Are there different types of Veterinarians?
Veterinarians may be employed or contracted by veterinary clinics and hospitals, government agencies, educational institutions, wildlife management groups, zoos, aquariums, ranches, farming-related businesses, or pharmaceutical companies.
The following are examples of types of veterinarians:
Companion animal Veterinarians
These veterinarians diagnose and treat diseases or abnormal conditions in animals, most often cats and dogs. They are the most common type of veterinarian and provide inoculations; prescribe medication; set bones; dress wounds; perform surgery and dental work; offer euthanasia services; and advise clients on the general care of their animals.
What Specific Types of Veterinarians Are There?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who consider their pet to be a member of the family is on the rise, and so is the request for nontraditional veterinary services, like preventative dental care and cancer treatments. To meet the demand of the growing and more diverse domestic pet populations, individuals studying to become veterinarians have a wealth of specialties from which to choose. It all boils down to whether they want to spend their days looking into the eyes of a dog or a prairie dog
Small Animal Practitioner
The most common type of veterinarian, the small animal practitioner, treats domestic pets. Some choose to run practices that are exclusive to cats and dogs, while others also treat small mammals, such as ferrets, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.