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Veterinary Medicine is an important field for treating the medical problems of wild animals, domestic pets, working animals, and livestock. It has been traced back to Egyptian times in ancient writings which referred to animal hospitals. Today, animals are treated with the help of many advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. Animals receive care medically, dentally, and surgically, which may include such procedures as hip replacements, cataract extractions, vaccinations, or root canals. Veterinarians also educate pet owners in caring for their pet, often through feeding or breeding.

The majority of veterinarians in the western world are occupied within the pet care sector, which is the area of veterinary medicine with the greatest growth. Some veterinarians also have an education in protecting humans from diseases which are typically carried by animals. Others may work as researchers after completing their education, increasing knowledge on animal health and medical science. Veterinarians are employed by the state, or through private sector animal hospitals. Others are self-employed with their own private practice.

Educational Courses in Veterinary Medicine

In order to qualify to work as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), students are required to study for five to six years of veterinary medicine at a university, depending on the country of study. Students without an undergraduate degree may have difficulty being accepted into a school for the study of veterinary medicine, but experience working with animals will help. Pre-veterinary education courses concentrate on science, and usually include physics, biology, animal nutrition, genetics, and zoology. Many education curriculums will include mathematics courses, and also, more recently, the study of general business management for veterinarians who start their own practices.

After completing their education degree, graduates are generally eligible for veterinary medicine licensure from the local government, although some will enter internships or residencies for specialization or board certification. Within the EU, veterinary licenses from any other EU state are valid for the practice of veterinary medicine. For other countries, further education courses may be required in order to qualify for the practice of veterinary medicine. For specializing in, for example animal surgery, pathology or radiology, students are usually required to complete an exam after a few years in a residency program. Exact time scales of education requisites for a degree vary between countries.

There are a variety of study options available within Veterinary Medicine:

Diploma in Veterinary Medicine

Bachelor degree in Veterinary Medicine

Career in Veterinary Science

After completing their education, most veterinarians begin their practice in established group practices, and from there may branch off to set up their own practice or fulfill other veterinary roles. Besides the given careers in animal care above, veterinarians may also work in a more administrative setting of government office. In this case, Veterinary Medicine usually involves the monitoring of food hygiene and animal rights in order to control the spreading of diseases and monitor the work of veterinarians.

The future looks quite bright for veterinarians. In most countries demand is growing, and in the United States and Europe, is especially high in the pet care arena. Depending on where graduates have completed their education and are looking for work, the greatest demand may vary. Veterinary Medicine is a fulfilling career that is ideal for scientifically-oriented people who enjoy working with animals.

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