A career in veterinary medicine offers exciting career prospects and a lot of fulfillment to those with a heart for animal health. Whether you are a fresh Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine graduate or have been practicing your trade for a while, your options in postgraduate training are without limits. Advance training along with continuing education are important aspects of career development as well as offering you the opportunity to develop your skills, acquire new knowledge and remain relevant in the job market. In addition, professional experience and advance training enables you to earn better.
Finding a good training program
Generally, securing admission to one of the top veterinary schools is highly competitive. However, being accepted into a postgraduate program is easy especially with an undergraduate qualification under your belt coupled with work experience. Just like with other professions, the quality of the training program you study for will largely influence your career development and give you an edge when searching for the best jobs. The advantage for those who have already worked in the industry is that they more likely to know the training schools that offer the best programs in veterinary medicine. Additionally, their experience on the job equips them with the confidence to choose the areas of specialization that suit them best.
It is always wise to be cautious when searching for a training institution. Before you enroll for any postgraduate program in veterinary medicine, verify the colleges that the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Education (AVMA) has accredited having met the required standards to offer quality training. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28 colleges in 26 states have met the accreditation standards.
Residency programs vary considerably with different institutions. However, the programs normally run for three years and provide comprehensive, specialist instruction that aims to prepare veterinarians to provide long-term care as well as managing veterinary practices. Essentially, the courses cover comprehensive care, emergency medical procedures, basic surgery, diagnostic imaging as well as specialist referral. Training is offered under the supervision of experienced faculty members of the school. Some of the specific courses include anesthesiology, cardiology, radiology, animal internal medicine, neurology, animal clinical nutrition and medical oncology. Some programs also cover molecular biology, immunology and other courses like communication skills, critical thinking and scientific writing.
Financial aid for students
Veterinary medical education can be quite costly. Fortunately, financial aid for veterinary schools is available for students who may find it challenging to cover the cost of education. Apart from scholarships, loan repayment and forgiveness options are available to make it easier for students to complete the course. Students pursuing post graduate training in veterinary medicine and those pursuing more than one degree in the same are often given preference for scholarships amounting to up to $15,000 per year. Find out from your school of choice about these options if you need assistance.
Plenty of opportunities are available for veterinarians with advanced training. You can choose to focus on any one of the areas including private practise, corporate veterinary medicine, working in government, the army corps, public health, research and teaching and many others.