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Choosing a career is more complicated than deciding what to have for dinner or where to go on vacation. Whether you’ve just begun thinking about veterinary medicine as a career or it’s been a lifelong dream, you probably have some questions about how to get there and what you may have to give up along the way.

We’ve posted some of the most common questions about becoming a veterinarian and their answers here, but please add your voice and send us your questions. Chances are, if you’re wondering about something, someone else is too.

Email us your question

Each veterinary school has specific requirements for admission, including prerequisite courses. Since you are interested in applying to UC Davis, I would go to their website for specific information on which courses to take:
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It is also important to make sure that the particular courses you are taking at your community college satisfy the requirements. The UC Davis website has good information on this.

I hope this helps and please feel free to contact me with any questions or if there is anything we at the VIN Foundation can do to help.

VIN Foundation Board Member

I'm one of the board members of the VIN Foundation and am happy to talk to you about becoming a veterinarian. I also decided to become a veterinarian in high school, graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and practiced several years in Florida. I then returned to Auburn and completed a residency in neurology and currently teach neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee veterinary school.

Since you are a junior in high school I would suggest two things. First, focus on doing well in school, in particular learning how to study. That way you will be prepared for college classes so you can make good grades. One of the biggest factors in getting accepted to veterinary school is your academic performance in college courses. You want to have good grades from the start of college. A common mistake I see is people make poor grades their first year or two in college. Then they decide they want to go to veterinary school and start studying harder to make better grades. The problem is at that point it can be difficult to increase your grade point average enough to get accepted.

The second thing I would recommend is to work for a veterinarian, even if you have to volunteer part time. For example, in high school I worked part time for a veterinarian cleaning cages and walking dogs. This is important for two reasons. Most important is to find out if you really want to work in veterinary medicine. A lot of people love working with animals but find they don't really enjoy some of the other aspects of veterinary medicine. You may find you love it. But if not, it's better to find out early on before you invest a lot of time, effort and money only to then find out you don't like this career.

Also, some sort of experience in veterinary medicine is one of the things we look for when deciding which students get accepted into veterinary school.

I hope this is helpful and please feel free to contact me with any questions or if there is anything I can do to help.

Good luck!

VIN Foundation Board Member


Regarding community college, that's fine. For admittance to veterinary school here, we look at GPA but do not factor in where you took the courses. So as long as you complete all of the requirements it's fine. There may be a few veterinary schools that do this different. By they way, which state are you in? In most cases, you will want to go to veterinary school at your in-state school if there is one available. You can check the particular school's website for specific details on how they admit students.

As for obtaining veterinary experience, I would put together a short resume and then visit the clinics. Ask if they have any openings for employment or volunteering and if they say know, ask if you can leave your resume. If you have any connections with any clinics that would be the first place to start -- for example if you have a family veterinarian. But don't be afraid to also try other hospitals in your area. I think it took me 6-12 months to find a place when I was in high school.

VIN Foundation Board Member

Thank you for contacting the VIN Foundation regarding your interest in veterinary medicine. Regarding earning potential, I don't know the typical salary for flight attendants; but in the US the average starting salary for new veterinary graduated entering private practice is about $66,000/year and the average salary for all veterinarians is about $120,000. Of course these are just averages (mean) so some veterinarians earn more and some earn less. But in general, I would say going into veterinary medicine only to make money is not a good idea. When you consider the time and cost of education, there are other professions that earn considerably more with similar education. Unfortunately, I don't know the situation for veterinarians in the Philippines but if you have questions about veterinary medicine in the Philippines specifically, please let me know and we will try and find more information for you.

One suggestion I would have for anyone considering veterinary medicine is to work or volunteer with a veterinarian. A lot of people like working with animals but find they do not enjoy veterinary medicine. It is better to find this out early on before you invest a lot of time pursuing a career only to find out you don't like it.

I hope this is helpful and please let me know if you have questions or it there is anything I can do to help.

VIN Foundation Board Member

VIN Foundation serves animal- and human-kind by ensuring veterinary professionals have the tools,
confidence and support to thrive. Empowering ONE empowers all. 

What is the need for the VIN Foundation?

Veterinary medicine spans areas including food animal and meat inspection, academia and research, international health and public awareness, as well as cutting edge surgery, diagnostic testing, and medical treatments for every animal species. The strength and health of our pets, agriculture, research, families, and communities depend upon a healthy, vibrant, and strong veterinary profession. Supporting and advocating for individuals within the profession is the heart and soul of the VIN Foundation. By helping veterinary professionals navigate the challenges of their careers, the VIN Foundation is helping to better serve animal- and human-kind.

Learn more.


The VIN Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was created by members of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) in 2005. VIN is an online community of veterinarians and veterinary students with over 50,000 members worldwide. The VIN Foundation is made possible through generous gifts by individual donors and grants, all gifts made to the VIN Foundation are tax deductible.

© 2005 - 2017 VIN Foundation. All Rights Reserved. VIN Foundation Phoenix House, 413 F Street, Davis, CA 95616,, (888) 616-6506. Photographs provided by Teresa (Teri) Zgoda.