Doctors of Veterinary Medicine

Doctors of Veterinary Medicine are educated and trained in the medical and surgical care of animals.

They provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive medical expertise across a broad array of species and disciplines:
• companion animals, predominantly dogs and cats, but including many other companion species, such as ‘pocket’ mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. As companion
animals assume greater emotional value, veterinarians are increasingly considered
to be members of the family health-care team.
• food-producing animals, such as cattle, swine, sheep, poultry and commercial fish;
thereby ensuring a plentiful, safe food supply.
• horses: some of which are considered ‘working’, and others serve as companions.
• zoo animals and wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic species; and including environmental/ecosystem health and conservation.
• biomedical research and laboratory animal medicine, in governmental, industrial
and academic organizations, in support of health research and development.

• public health and food safety: especially protecting against toxic chemicals and
drugs, and infectious micro-organisms that are transmissible from animals to
humans. Veterinarians are an integral part of national defense teams, organized to
counter agricultural and/or bioterrorism.

Average Salary Requirements
$45,000 – $120,000
Educational Requirements
Students interested in becoming veterinarians should take the most challenging secondary school courses available in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses. To enter a graduate program in veterinary
medicine, students must complete a minimum of two years of pre-veterinary study. Most successful candidates complete a four-year program.
Licensed veterinarians must earn a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and must pass both national and state examinations.

Professional Associations

American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumsburg, IL 60173
1-800-248-2862 or (847) 925-8070

American Veterinary Medical Foundation
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173
1-800-248-2862, ext. 600
Association of American Veterinary
Medical Colleges
1101 Vermont Ave., NW
Suite 710
Washington, DC 20005-3521
(202) 371-9195