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Hi. i am currently a freshmen in high school. i am very interested in the veterinary field. i would like to major in veterinary internal medicine. so that would make my career choice as a veterinary technician specializing in internal medicine. i was wondering what courses i would have to take and if this UC offers them.
Question Date: 2008-02-12
Answer 1:

It's great to be thinking about what you will need to accomplish to do yourself on a good path to a career which interests you. UCSB divides the Biological Sciences into two main groups: Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB) and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB). Under EEMB, a student can specialize in physiology (Biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts) or zoology (Branch of science that deals with animal structures, growth, and classification). Both of these concentrations would prepare you for entry into Veterinary School, but you can major in anything you want, as long as you fulfill the course requirements for graduate school admissions. There is an outstanding Vet School at UC Davis, and I will attach a list of courses needed to apply to UC Davis Vet School, which are all offered at UCSB. UCSB also has a site and support just for students who are considering the Health Profession, including doctors and veterinarians.


In addition, it is required by many veterinarian graduate schools, and would be a good idea if you are considering this career, to have lots of experience working with animals. Try to start early, by volunteering at local animal shelters, or perhaps serving as an intern for a veterinarian.

Best of luck with your endeavors!

Answer 2:

Becoming a veterinarian is a great choice!To practice veterinary internal medicine, you will need to get a degree called a 'Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine' (DVM). This is a professional/graduate level degree, which means you first have to go to college and take certain required courses to prepare you for the DVM program. Most programs want you to take the following courses: general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology, genetics, animal physiology, and statistics. Also, you are usually required to take courses in English and humanities/social sciences (history, art, etc.).

There are two routes you can take. 1) Attend a pre-veterinary program, which usually are sponsored by university agricultural departments. These programs typically take 2 years. 2) Enroll in college, majoring in some type of life or health science, such as biology, chemistry, or zoology. In any case, you will need to take the courses I mentioned above. While it is not required by DVM programs for you to complete the typical 4-year college program and receive a bachelor's degree, many people do it anyway. Also, no matter which route you take, you will need to get hands-on experience. For example, you can work in a vet clinic while you are taking classes.

UC Davis offers one of the top (or the top) DVM program in the country. Washington State University also has a really good program. However, because there are only relatively few veterinary medicine programs, they are tough to get into. That is one reason why many students go ahead and get they're bachelor's degree - so they have other career options if they don't get in to vet school right away. Here is a link that lists all the vet schools:


If you would rather do a pre-vet program, Los Angeles Pierce College offers a 2-year pre-vet program that many students attend before applying to UC Davis. Below is a link that tells you about it. The pre-vet handbook' link will probably be the most helpful.


I know this is all a long ways away for you and probably more information than you need right now, but I hope this has answered some of your questions and given you a better idea about what it takes to be a vet. While you are in high school, I suggest that you take as many science and math classes as you can. That will help prepare you for the kind of classes you will take later. Also, when you start to seriously think about applying for college or a pre-vet program (or other programs if you change your mind), I strongly encourage you to just talk to people. Call, email, or visit professors or program advisers, or even other students. Tell them what your interests are and ask them questions. Most people will be very willing to talk to you and share their experience and opinions with you.

I hope I helped. If you have more questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!

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