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Careers in Agriculture. Veterinarian. By: Dr. Frank Flanders and Jennie Simpson Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office Georgia Department of Education June 2005. START. What Is a Veterinarian?. Veterinarians are doctors who care for animals.

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Careers in Agriculture

Veterinarian

By: Dr. Frank Flanders and Jennie Simpson

Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office

Georgia Department of Education

June 2005

START

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What Is a Veterinarian?

  • Veterinarians are doctors who care for animals.
  • They treat diseased and injured animals
  • Vaccinate animals
  • Provide advice on care and breeding.
  • Vets play a major role in the healthcare of many kinds of animals.
  • They conduct research on animal health

Source: Cornelia Veterinary Hospital, Baldwin, GA

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Duties of Veterinarians

  • Examine animals to diagnose diseases or treat injuries.
  • Treat sick or injured animals
  • Vaccinate animals against diseases, such as rabies and distemper.
  • Collect body samples, and feces, blood, and urine for testing
  • Operate diagnostic equipment and interpret the results.
  • Advise owners on feeding and general care necessary to promote health of animals.
  • Educate the public about zoonotic diseases.
  • Train and supervise workers who handle and care for animals.
  • Provide care to a wide range of animals or specialize in a particular species, such as horses or exotic birds.
  • Euthanize animals.

*These are some common duties of the profession. This list is not all inclusive, and duties can vary greatly within the profession.

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Becoming a Veterinarian

  • Veterinarians must have a deep desire for the well being and care of animals.
  • Personal qualities include being personable, compassionate, assertive, a keen power of observation, and an inquiring mind.
  • Aptitude and interest in biological sciences is important too.
  • Need to get along with pet owners because many will form a strong bond with their pet.
  • You need excellent communication, business skills, scientific knowledge and have high ethical standards.
  • Good problem solving skills and the ability to think creatively, “outside of the box,” make a person successful in a career as a veterinarian.
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Education

  • There are 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the US, and only 43% of applicants are accepted per year.
  • 75% of students in vet school are women.
  • You need to make good grades in science, biology and math in high school.
  • Undergraduate coursework usually includes three to four years of college and is needed to be admitted to vet school.
  • Medical study is difficult and time consuming. Develop good study habits
  • Volunteer at local clinics, zoos, or humane societies to gain experience.
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Employment

  • Veterinarians can work for the state or federal government, zoos, labs, research, universities, or private practice.
  • Demand is high for veterinarians in the fields of pathology, lab animal medicine, and food animal medicine.
  • Demand for veterinarians is increasing by 3% each year.
  • The salary can range from $45,000 to over $100,000 depending on location, experience, and area of vet medicine.
  • Vets in private practice can concentrate on small animals, large animals, exotics, or a mixed practice. Equine medicine is another area of private practice.
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Vocabulary

Zoonotic Disease- an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans.

Ex. Ringworm-a fungus that can be found on the skin of animals. This fungus can be transmitted to humans if they touch it!

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Related Careers

  • Animal Behaviorist
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Avian Veterinarian
  • Biological Scientist
  • Ichthyologist
  • Marine Biologist
  • Zoologist
  • Veterinary Technician
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Career Resources

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

1101 Vermont Ave. NW Suite 301 Washington, DC 20005

Internet: http://www.aavmc.org

University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine

Internet: www.vet.uga.edu

American Veterinary Medical Association

1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100 Schaumburg, Illinois 60173-4360

Internet: http://www.avma.org

American Animal Hospital Association

P.O. Box 150899 Denver, Colorado 80215-0899

Internet: http://www.healthypet.com

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