Veterinary Medicine  Interviews


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It takes more than a love of animals to succeed in vet school. But it's that devotion that brings people to the field.

"I always loved animals and science," says Keri Lynn Berka. She studied at the University of Missouri.

"I also loved the fact that I could own my own business when I get out. And that there is always a demand in the industry, as the AVMA [American Veterinary Medical Association] keeps the seats in vet schools low."

Berka is originally from New York and wanted to go away for post-college studies. Missouri made her an offer that she decided to take.

"The program is fabulous," she says. "Small class of 64, profs who really care, courses are challenging, and [all-day] access to facilities. What more could anyone ask for?"

So what's the most important feature of the program? DesChene Brochtrup, who took the same program as Berka, says it's the clinical experience.

"We have been told that this makes us more desirable to hiring professionals, because we are more confident and competent in clinical procedures, and not just the medical basics."

How to Prepare

"[Take] every science-oriented class, especially microbiology, bacteriology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, developmental anatomy," says Brochtrup.

"Plus they should take writing courses -- especially ones with a scientific emphasis, such as with scientific journals, peer review, how to write scientific and research papers as well as read them."

Brochtrup says that introductory classes in typing, spreadsheets, word processing and Internet navigation are good. You must become proficient at making presentations and writing papers.

"[Take] all the AP courses you can," Berka adds. AP stands for advanced placement. "Not only in science, but in history, English, language...everything."

Berka says tough courses will help you become a better student. They will also get you used to the enormous workload that you will have in college and vet school.

"They say that the hard part is getting in," she says. "But staying in isn't easy, either. It all takes a work ethic."