Q: What do you think of when you hear the word "veterinarian"?A: The usual response is a "pet doctor."
Q: What does "veterinary medicine" mean?A: From the Latin word meaning "of cattle." Today it means the study of all species, including humans.
Q: Why would someone want to become a veterinarian?A: The number one reason is they love animals. Other reasons: people like science and solving puzzles; enjoy the reward of seeing a sick animal recover; like to feel they are making the world a better place; interested in research and math.
Q: What do you think was the first animal domesticated by humans?A: It was the dog about 15,000 years ago.
Q: Who works with a veterinarian in a typical veterinary hospital?A: The veterinarian has a healthcare team consisting of including kennel workers, veterinary technicians, receptionists, and frequently an office manager.
Q: Are there more pet cats or dogs in the United States?A: Cats outnumber dogs in our homes. There are more than 70 million cats vs. 62 million dogs in the US.
Q: When do you think animal diseases were first recorded?A: It was 4,000 years ago when animal diseases were described in a book written by an Egyptian priest.
Q: How many different ways can you name that veterinarians are able to use their training?A: In small animal practice; on swine, equine, dairy, and aquatic animals; as surgery and pathology specialists; in academia; in government (USDA); in military service; in zoos and wildlife centers; at the CDC and even at NASA for work on space missions.
Q: How is veterinary medicine like being a detective?A: Veterinarians have to solve the mystery of an animal's disease and determine the best treatments without the benefit of having a patient who can talk and tell them where it hurts.
Q: How did a veterinary pathologist solve a human medical mystery in New York?A: Dr. Tracy McNamara discovered the cause of West Nile Virus (WNV) when she observed crows dying of encephalitis in the Bronx zoo where she worked. She connected it with human deaths from the same disease. She sent bird tissue samples to several labs and it was identified as WNV.
Q: What other diseases transmitted by insects have veterinarians recognized and controlled?A: Besides West Nile Virus, they were instrumental in controlling typhus, malaria and yellow fever.
Q: What do veterinarians do to care for animals that are raised primarily for food?A: They protect the health of the animals; help the producers provide a good quality of life for them; and help ensure we have a safe and plentiful food supply.
Q: What is the future of veterinary medicine?A: As long as there are companion animals, there will be a demand for veterinarians.As long as there are infectious diseases and the need for cures, we need veterinarians.As long as there are people on earth and a need for human medicine, there will be a need for veterinary medicine.
Q: How do you become a veterinarian?A: Take pre-veterinary courses at colleges or universities. Join a pre-vet club if available. Apply to one of the 28 veterinary colleges in the U.S. for graduate training in veterinary medicine.
Q: What is important besides grades to being accepted into a veterinary school?A: Good grades are necessary but applicants should also have leadership experience and a passion for the profession. Because veterinarians work with animals and PEOPLE, having good communication skills and enjoying working with people is an important attribute for success as a veterinarian.
Q: Where was the first school of veterinary medicine established and when?A: Lyon, France in 1762.
Q: How do veterinarians aid in protecting our environment?A: They work to protect endangered species in zoos and aquariums where they study and care for a variety of animals and marine life. They are concerned about larger populations of wild animals and the ecosystems in which they survive.
Q: How do veterinarians study the relationship between human and animal health?A: Veterinarians play a critical role in the recognition, diagnosis and understanding of emerging infectious diseases.
Q: What are zoonotic diseases and why are veterinarians interested in them?A: These are diseases that affect both animals and people and are of particular concern in regard to national security. Currently, 70% of known bioterrorist threats (such as eboli) are identified as zoonotic diseases.
Veterinary career brochures
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Search for Veterinary Specialty Organizations
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/careers/Homeland Security career opportunities
Contact the AVMA Communications Division for help.American Veterinary Medical Association1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
Phone: 847-285-6655Fax: 847-925-1329