As of 2013, there were 28 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programs in the U.S. that were accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These programs train students to care for, diagnose and treat medical conditions in different kinds of animals. Some programs allow students to specialize in the care of a specific type of animal. Students participate in both lecture-style classes and hands-on training sessions in veterinary hospitals or clinics. These programs typically take four years to complete.
In order to enroll, students generally need a bachelor's degree and have studied in fields such as biology, genetics, embryology, chemistry, physiology, and zoology. In addition, a proficiency in calculus and business must be demonstrated and students must submit entrance exam scores from the Veterinary College Admission Test. Students who complete an accredited program are eligible to become licensed veterinarians.
Holistic Dog and Cat Care Certification
Curriculum combines classroom learning with clinical practice. Some programs allow for study in a specialty area, such as small animals or equines. Typical courses might include:
- Anatomy and anatomic pathology
- Veterinary immunology
- Veterinary ethics
- Radiology techniques
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Prospects are expected to be faster than average for all veterinarians for the 2014-2024 period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a projected job growth rate of 9%. Pet owners are increasingly willing to pay for advanced care and medical services for their animals. The BLS found that the median salary for veterinarians in May 2015 was $88,490.
Licensing, Certification and Continuing Education
All states require veterinarians to complete an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Those interested in holistic practices might consider joining the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), an organization that provides information on holistic veterinary medicine as well as continuing education opportunities. While there are no industry-recognized certification programs in holistic care, the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy offers a certification program in the related area of homeopathy.
Students who complete a training program in veterinary medicine will learn about the use of holistic medicine in practice, while becoming prepared to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. While veterinarian jobs are expected to grow by 9% over the next decade, students can improve career prospects by joining an organization like AHVMA and seeking continuing education opportunities.