If you have a fondness for animals, you care about their physical, and mental well-being and their welfare. Then you should consider being a Veterinary doctor.
In this article, we would be walking you through the steps to becoming a successful vet doctor in Canada and also highlighting the peculiarities of being a vet in Canada.
Who is a Veterinary doctor?
A Veterinary doctor is a professional who treats, cares for, and manages the welfare of animals.
The job of a veterinarian is not only limited to animals they protect humans from zoonotic disease.
While becoming a qualified and licensed veterinarian requires rigorous theoretical, practical, and clinical activities, I would be guiding you through easy steps to becoming a vet doctor in Canada.
Roles of a veterinary doctor:
- Treat sick animals
- Prevent zoonotic diseases
Steps to Becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Canada
- Grow Your Passion
- Complete your pre-vet school
- Gain Work Experience
- Choose a school of your choice
- Apply for admission and meet the requirements
- Earning your DVM
- Obtaining your practicing license
- Get your area of specialty if you want to specialize
More Details on Becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Canada;
Grow Your Passion
Animals unlike humans do not talk and so to understand them needs an inborn passion. You should be an animal lover right from high school, and performance in your science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and science needs to be great to become a veterinarian and to study vet medicine.
Complete your pre-vet school
Most universities’ criteria require that you complete your pre-vet school studies which take two years to complete with the minimum required credits in all vet prerequisites.
This is one of the important steps to becoming a veterinarian. It is required to take up a volunteer or a paid job at an animal shelter, clinic, hospital, laboratory, or research to gain experience under a licensed vegetarian’s supervision. This shows your dedication and passion and also indicates your interest.
Choose a school of your choice
Getting into Vet school is hard as Veterinary schools in Canada get close to a thousand applicants each year from all over the world but can only admit between a hundred to three hundred depending on the school of choice. Here’s a list of the top 5 vet schools in Canada:
- Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island
- Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montreal
- Ontario veterinary college, University of Guelph
- Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
- Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Apply for admission and meet the requirements
Different schools have varied requirements depending on the school you choose. To know the exact requirements visit the school’s website to know what they want exactly. Here is a list of common requirements;
- English language proficiency especially if your 1st language is not English
- Minimum academic requirements in required courses
- Completion of pre-vet school with credit in prerequisites courses
- Work experience with animals
- Letters of reference
- Graduate Record Examination(GRE) general test
- A personal essay
Earning Your DVM
It takes about 5 to 6 years to complete the DVM program. It takes 4 years if you already have a degree in a related subject for example Animal Science, Animal Husbandry, or any other similar course.
You will be taken through the theoretical and practical aspects of a vet. The first and second-year courses like Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry form the bedrock of the veterinary profession.
These courses teach what to know about a healthy animal and how it can be disrupted.
In the final year, there will be clinical rotation which provides and ensures hands-on experience with animals and also interaction with their owners.
Obtaining your practicing license
To be eligible to own a practicing license, you must have completed your DVM, then, you can then apply to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association(CVMA) National Examination Board(NEB) which will look at your academic record to know what exams you must take (if any) to apply for your license.
Get Your Area of Specialty if You Want to Specialize
Veterinary Medicine is a broad field and there may be a need for specialization. Here is a list of areas of specialization:
- Small Animal Veterinarian
- Large Animal Veterinarian
- Wildlife Veterinarian
- Mixed Veterinarian
- Equine Veterinarian
- Research Veterinarian
To practice any of these, additional training and more knowledge about the field are required by getting an internship program through the Veterinary and Internship Residency Matching Program.
Areas where vets are found:
- Public health
- Teaching and research
- Military and other forces
- Private or public practice