Through didactic coursework and clinical experiences, students in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program learn how to diagnose disease, treat animals and manage the responsibilities of a veterinarian. Programs typically take 4 years to complete and applicants must possess a bachelor's degree in a relevant science field, like biology, to enroll. Graduates of a DVM program are qualified to pursue mandatory veterinarian licensure.
Horse veterinarians work alongside breeders and horse owners to tend to the specific healthcare needs of horses. Students may specialize in equine medicine and must complete a clinical experience as part of their program requirements.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM): Specialization in Equine Medicine
When applying to a DVM program, universities take into account a student's GPA from their college career and usually require satisfactory GRE scores. While it's a general degree, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine includes a range of courses that are available for students who wish to become horse veterinarians. Students may specialize in equine studies through elective courses. Typical courses include:
- Animal anatomy
- Equine medicine and nutrition
- Clinical techniques
- Public policy of animals
- Training for equine private practice
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for veterinarians, including horse veterinarians, will grow at a faster than average rate of 9% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reported that, in May 2015, the median annual wage for veterinarians was $88,490.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of the DVM must get a license before they can practice. Because state governments regulate veterinary practice, the requirements for licensure vary. However, a typical requirement is a passing score on a North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.
After earning a DVM in roughly 4 years, prospective veterinarians will enter a career field growing faster than the national average at 9% and will need to obtain a state license to practice.