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Studies & Degrees in Veterinary Medicine

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Veterinary Medicine is the science of applying medical, therapeutic, and diagnostic principles to animals – may it be domestic, wildlife, exotic, or production animals. Humans take care of animals for companionship, like in the case of domestic animals, such as dogs, cats, etc.; for entrepreneurship, like in the case of production or livestock animals, such as cattle, horses, hogs, etc.; or for mere welfare of animals, like in the case of government and non-government animal welfare groups who take care of endangered animal species.

The field of Veterinary Medicine offers various specializations in treating animals, including Zoologic Medicine (focusing on healthcare of zoo and wildlife), Psychology, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Neurology, Surgery, Cardiology, and a lot more. Licensed veterinarians are getting employment from large commercial farms as resident doctors to monitor and improve the health of livestock. Securing animal health in livestock industry is as critical to humans as it is to animals themselves. Hundreds of people are employed by these farms to maintain the operations. Presence of air-borne diseases in its animals could potentially put the health of its employees at risk, especially in the case of diseases that are also transmittable to humans. Buying substandard meat products is also a risk if livestock animals are not taken care of. Private veterinary clinics, on the other hand, never run out of patients from individuals or families who maintain regular check-up of their ‘loved ones.’ Just like human healthcare, it helps to have a doctor who regularly checks on animals and knows its health history for easier diagnostic procedure as the need arises. Research industries (pharmaceutical and agricultural research, for instance) are also a good venue for practitioners in this field, where they get to contribute to the advancement of animal health.

The demand for veterinarians is driven by more and more private individuals who opt to have companionship through pet animals and by livestock industry that is also getting bigger to support the needed supply of human population. Private pet owners are more than willing to purchase health insurance plans for their pets, and this allows for the patronization of advanced animal healthcare from private veterinary clinics. Do you think dental care, such as root canals, is exclusive to humans? Think again. The advancement in the field of Veterinary Medicine has paved the way for sophisticated healthcare for animals, such as insulin injections, cataract extraction, pacemakers, root canals, surgical procedures, etc. Veterinarians who prefer metropolitan over rural lifestyle go for private veterinary clinics, where they handle pet companion and domestic animal cases. On the other hand, resident veterinarians in livestock farms are situated outside the metropolitan area, since livestock farms are situated in rural areas.

They say infants are the most difficult to treat among human age groups. Why? Because they cannot speak their minds through words that adults understand. They just cry, and you’ll know something is wrong. Can you imagine how much more difficult it is when it comes to treating animals? They definitely cannot speak the human language! This makes Veterinary Medicine challenging and interesting at the same time. Practitioners of this field are expected to possess great height of interest in science, just like practitioners in any other field of medicine. In addition, they must have genuine love of animals and concern to their welfare.

There is a stiff competition not just in employment but even in admittance in veterinary schools. In the United States, for instance, there are less than 30 accredited veterinary medicine schools.