Are you a veterinary technician who would like to become a veterinarian?
Have you been wondering whether or not your vet tech training and experience can be applied towards a doctor of veterinary medicine program?
While some people say that vet tech degrees and work experience can be applied to a DVM program, others say that they cannot.
So, just what is the answer? Read on to find out.
The Advantages of Vet Tech Training and Experience
Going from a veterinary technician to a veterinarian is much like going from a nurse to a medical doctor.
Very little of a nurse’s education and training can be applied to an MD program.
The same can be said for veterinary technicians. Most of the training involved in vet tech programs simply is not transferable to a professional DVM program.
Nevertheless, there are definitely some terrific benefits gained from possessing veterinary technician education and experience when starting a veterinarian career.
For one thing, in most cases, your general education courses will be transferable.
However, you will need to take some additional ones as well.
Furthermore, most all veterinary medicine schools require at least two professional letters of recommendation.
If you have worked as a veterinary technician for several years before enrolling in a pre-vet program, you will most likely be able to obtain these recommendation letters quite easily.
Finally, working as a veterinarian can be extremely rewarding, but it can be very stressful and upsetting at times as well. If you have several years of experience as a veterinary technician, you already know what is in store for you as a DVM and are prepared for the pressures and stress that the job can throw your way.
First Steps to Advancing in Your Career
If you decide to go on to become a veterinarian, you will need to enroll in a pre-veterinary medicine program first. During this program, you will be required to complete various general education and career-related courses. The pre-vet program typically lasts about two years and consists of both classroom lectures and labs.
While some pre-vet programs are associated with a professional program in the same educational facility, some are not. However, in either case, you will need to apply for admission to the professional program at least a year prior to your desired enrollment date. In this way, you will have a better chance of being accepted.
The Professional Program and Beyond
For you to be accepted into a professional veterinary medicine program, you will need to have completed a pre-vet program, have an acceptable GPA and have at least two letters of recommendation from professionals and/or college professors. Depending on the school you choose, you may need to meet other criteria as well.
Veterinary medicine programs can last anywhere from four to six years depending on whether or not you choose a specialty.
Additionally, at the end of your program, you will need to participate in a one to two year internship before you can obtain a DVM license and begin practicing in the field.
After you complete your internship, you will be eligible to sit for the licensing exam. If you pass the exam, you will be issued a license and can obtain employment as a DVM.
As you can see, although veterinary technician education and experience may not shorten the length of veterinarian training, it does offer some terrific benefits as described above.