Eight years is a long time to go to school to be an equine veterinarian, but it offers a lifetime of saving horses. True one has to go to a college or university for eight plus years to become an equine veterinarian, but it all pays off in the end. It does not pay in money, but knowing that one saves a horses life, or can make their life better. This is what Charlie Scoggin was trying to say when he said “In my opinion, a salary should not be the sole means for deciding upon a job. You have to look at the big picture.” (Charlie Scoggin Resident veterinarian Rood and Riddle equine hospital). Equine veterinary medicine is not just about making money, but helping horses heal, recover, and live a better life.
Before one decides that they want to become an equine veterinarian one should make sure that they are compatible with this career. Some ways are to look at what interests you have. For this career one must have a love for horses, or at least for animals. This is the most important thing to have for this career, because if one does not love animals then one will hate what they have to get up every morning for. They will not perfect what needs to be perfected in this career. One must want to keep learning. In this career one must continue to go to school to keep up with all the technology. One must continue to go to school throughout their life. It does not have to be constantly, but just enough to keep up with the younger people coming into this career.
After deciding that this is the right career choice one must look into the education and training part of it. One must start working towards this career in high school, excelling in areas of math and science. Then one must go to a college or university that offers a major in pre-veterinary medicine, biology, or any field of science that fits what one would encounter as a veterinarian. Depending on what school one attends for this, it can take two to four years to achieve this degree. After one achieves this, one must start looking at actual veterinary colleges. Veterinary colleges are scarce in the first place, and equine veterinary colleges are even more scarce. One can go to a regular veterinary college, but it will not give one the expertise that people are looking for in their veterinarians.
For one to get into a veterinary college, one must take entrance exams. One can take either the VCAT (Veterinary College Admissions Test), GRE (Graduate Record Exam), or the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Most veterinary schools will accept any one of these tests. There are some out there that would prefer one or another. Once one is accepted one will need to have four more years of schooling. There are two main parts of veterinary school. There is pre-clinical and clinical. In the pre-clinical part of one’s studying one will study anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, and pharmacology. All of this schooling will be done in a lab or class room. Clinical on the other hand is all hands-on work. Working in the stables with the actual horses in real situations. In total one will spend about 4,000 hours in class, the lab, and clinical studies over the four years that one will be in veterinary school.
After graduating from Veterinary school, one has to take more tests to become board certified by the state in which they reside. After one passes their board exam, they have decisions to make. One must decide if they want to become an intern, or a resident veterinarian. Although it is not required to be an intern, it is helpful, and when one is trying to get a job at a clinic or hospital the staff will look more highly at the people that have served an internship, or a residency. All perspective employers like to see that one has served a residency, or at least an internship.
Before one becomes a full fledged veterinarian, one may want to become part of an association, or group. There are a...