The Udder Side of the Story
This article will be a little different than the rest. I thought I might talk about getting in to veterinary school, since it is almost time to go back to school. Most veterinary colleges are looking for students that will not give up during the program. The loss of students during veterinary school is one of the lowest of all the professional schools in the world. Once you are in, they really do not want to lose you. My class started with 105 and we graduated with 105. Of course we lost about 4 to 5 students due to various reasons, but we gained 4 to 5 from the class ahead of us.
The first thing I always start with pre-vet students is the math. You must be able to do basic math to figure the doses of medicine and other calculations that you are faced with every day; i.e. cost effective production medicine. But, the highest math course is Trigonometry. This is the only math course required in pre-vet. The other math similar courses are one year of Physics and two and a half years of chemistry and biochemistry. If you do not understand how chemicals work, how are you to understand how they will affect an animal's body?
Other courses required are in the animal science curriculum, such as Nutrition, Livestock and Meat Evaluation and others. These teach you about livestock and get you acquainted with the livestock end. Along with these courses you will have one year of English and only 12 hours of electives within the two and a half year program.
I will always remember going over to the Vet. School, to talk to Dr. John Noordsy, the assistant Dean of Admissions. We had a little discussion about grades. What he said impressed me and I feel it should always be passed on to others: "A’s, they help, B’s, they don’t help, but they do not hurt you, C’s, they hurt." This was all he said about the topic. I always ask if you notice anything totally left out of that statement. D’s and F’s, they are unheard of in a strict veterinary program. This is exactly how everyone should look at grades.
The next statement that I always include comes from my Gross Anatomy professor. He was not my favorite professor but he had a good idea of what it takes to make a good veterinarian. "Do not go into veterinary medicine because you love animals and hate people." I have yet to see that horse, dog, cat, pig, cow, sheep or goat sign a check. Now, this sounds bad coming from a veterinarian but, we treat the patient for the client. If you are not considering yourself working for the public, then you are in the wrong section of veterinary medicine. You might be better off working for a lab.
The only section of human medicine that comes close to veterinary medicine is the pediatrician. His patient doesn’t always tell him where it hurts or give him a detailed history. I saw a saying just last night about "people" doctors (MD’s). MD’s know everything about male and female humans, while veterinarians know everything else.
Dr. Tim O'Neill owns Country Veterinary Clinic in Farmington, Ark.
A report that appeared in "USA Today" in February 2008 cited:
"Veterinarians increasingly have chosen to live in metropolitan areas and pursue more lucrative practices specializing in pets. About 500 counties have large populations of food animals but no veterinarian who lives there to treat them, the American Veterinary Medical Association says. "We're in a crisis situation," says Gregory Hammer, president of the association and a vet in Dover, Del. "We don't have enough rural veterinarians to be a first line of defense against animal diseases.""