How to Become a Veterinary Surgeon

vet operating

These days veterinary surgery is one of the most popular career choices for young people and places to study the subject at University are oversubscribed, making competition tough.

Skills required

  • Love of animals and people
  • A good communicator
  • Good detective skills and an inquisitive mind
  • Ambition and enthusiasm
  • High intelligence and plenty of common sense

University Entry Requirements

There are variations between the entrance requirements for different veterinary schools so you should check the requirements very carefully in the individual university prospectuses. Prospectuses can be obtained free of charge direct from the universities, or can be viewed on their websites.

The RCVS website provides a summary of the general entry requirements.

Work experience

All of the university veterinary schools require applicants to show evidence of their interest and commitment by having gained work experience in a veterinary practice and working with and handling animals including livestock. However, practical experience is not a substitute for academic qualifications.

Applying to University

The number of high quality applications for entry to university veterinary schools far exceeds the number of places available. You need to be aware, therefore, that even if you meet the entry requirements, you are not necessarily guaranteed a place. Visit the RCVS website to learn more.

The Universities

There are seven universities in the UK offering veterinary degrees approved by the RCVS.

These are:

The degree courses are five years in length (six years at Cambridge).

Holders of the veterinary degree awarded by these six UK universities may register and become a member of The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) which is the governing body of the profession in the United Kingdom.

Every veterinary surgeon has an obligation to deal with emergencies in any species at any time. Anyone contemplating a career in veterinary practice should remember this. It is a 24-hour service, 365 days a year.

Career opportunities

The veterinary profession, though numerically small (19,226 registered veterinarians in 2000), has varied and important duties. There are career opportunities in a number of areas as outlined on the RCVS website.

Posted February 17, 2015 in Vet Professionals

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