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Veterinary School

Linda S. Berris lberri1 at uic.edu
Tue Jul 16 03:14:30 EST 1996


Lana Ane wrote:

> am seriously thinking of switching
> to veterinary medicine.  Any help is completely appreciated.
> 
> Thanks,
> Lana Ane

Hi Lana Ane,
As an almost-alumnus of the veterinary school at UW-Madison , I'll be glad to 
share a few pointers!

> I am currently a pre-med student and am seriously thinking of switching
> to veterinary medicine. 

It's important to sit down and consider why this is...I don't doubt that you're 
serious about it, but at some point you will need to write an essay for your 
application about this, and also will need to deal with it in your interview.  
If you haven't worked around veterinary medicine, it's very important that you 
get some experience, even if it's just cleaning cages, ASAP.  Note I said 
veterinary medicine, not just worked around animals.  There's a big difference. 
You should get a very clear picture of what a "day in the life" or even "year in 
the life" of a veterinarian is --- what you see may surprise you.  I don't mean 
that in a negative way, especially, but it's not just about vaccinating cute 
kittens...please don't take that the wrong way; not trying to be condescending, 
believe me, I had a lot of misimpressions for a long time.  

>I can use all the guidance any kind soul could
> offer in regards to schooling and earnings to be expected.

Not sure about current earnings...it depends, though, on what type of medicine 
you'd like to practice (i.e. small animal, large animal, mixed practice, 
specialty medicine, etc.).  A good source is the AVMA; they generally publish 
current stats on earnings on an annual basis in their journal.  

As for schools, you would likely need to apply to the school at Madison, since 
most Vet schools are state-funded, therefore they prefer to accept state 
residents.  The staff in the Academic Affairs office at Madison are extremely 
friendly and helpful about potential students.  I would strongly urge you to 
contact them ASAP with your questions about requirements and the application 
process in general.  Don't be intimidated, they are there to help you, and as I 
said, they are a wonderful group!  I believe the office number is 608-263-2525 
(and tell them I said hi!).

>I am
> particularly wonderring if my premed curriculum is interchangeable with
> the veterinary curriculum. 

Generally the requirements are virtually identical...you will most certainly 
need to take general chem, physics, organic chem (aha, thought you could get out 
of it, eh?), as well as other courses.  Often veterinary schools also insist on 
one or two animal science courses, i.e. animal nutrition.  The requirements 
differ slightly from school to school...again, contact UW-Madison to find out 
what courses you need to complete.

>I am also curious to know if there is an exam  like the mcat. 

Yes, unfortunately there is!  It is called either the VCAT or VAT.

If you need more information, email me:  I'll be happy to provide it.

Good luck!
Linda Berris



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