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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) accredits veterinary schools in the United States. Most of the accredited schools belong to the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), which is a centralized application service. Students who are interested in veterinary school fill out one application that is forwarded to all of the programs in which the students are interested. Some schools also require supplemental applications, but the VMCAS process still results in a much less overall paperwork for students. Search for great veterinary exam study tips here.
Veterinary schools usually require students to complete four years of full-time study before awarding a degree. The first three years of most programs involve classroom study while the fourth year is devoted to clinical application of what students have learned. Classes include study general scientific study in pharmacology, immunology, bacteriology, virology, pathology, histology, neuroanatomy, parasitology, and toxicology as well as specific veterinary medicine applications for anesthesiology, therapeutic medicine, ophthalmology, orthopedics, dentistry, and surgery.
Contrary to popular belief, veterinary schools generally do not allow students to specialize in a specific species of animal. Students are expected to learn how to provide basic care to all animals, although some schools use a tracking system that allows students to express interest in branches of veterinary medicine such as companion animal, food supply, avian, bovine, equine, or wildlife care.
Veterinary schools award a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree upon completion. Graduates must then pass the North America Veterinary Licensing Exam before they are allowed to legally practice their profession.
Last Updated: 04/01/2013
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