Lana Ane wrote:
> am seriously thinking of switching
> to veterinary medicine. Any help is completely appreciated.
> 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!).
> 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.