Zoo veterinarians are professionals who care for animals in captivity and have received significant training in the care of exotic wildlife species. If you’re interested in the position, here are suggested education and Essential Skills Of A Veterinarian requirements so you can get started.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
Before attending veterinary school, aspiring veterinarians must complete their undergraduate education. Anatomy, animal science, biology, chemistry, physiology, and zoology are some of the disciplines that students must have completed before enrolling in a veterinary program. Students may choose any undergraduate degree in preparation for veterinary school as long as they complete all of the prerequisite coursework. While no specific major is necessary, prospective veterinarians may find biology to be an excellent undergraduate option.
Obtain a doctorate in veterinary medicine
A Doctor of Veterinary Medical (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree from an authorized veterinary medicine college is required for future zoo veterinarians career. Classroom study, laboratory experience, and clinical practice are all part of most four-year programs. Animal anatomy, animal diseases, and physiology are some of the subjects covered in the program.
Obtain a State-issued License
Every state requires veterinarians to have a license to practice, and the requirements differ by state. Aspiring veterinarians must have completed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam and graduated from a recognized veterinary school. In addition to the national exam, several states require candidates to complete a state exam.
Participate in an internship
Unlike animal healthcare jobs in general, zoo veterinarians must get experience working with various wild animals, which may be obtained through a volunteer internship. Many zoos partner with veterinary schools to provide interns the opportunity to work with exotic animals under the observation of expert zoo vets. Interns may rotate through surgery, dentistry, and anesthesia, among other areas of zoological medicine. Interns can prepare for a medical specialty in zoological medicine, work in private practice, or conduct clinical scientific research at a university by completing an internship. Internships can also benefit veterinarians pursuing board certification.
Enroll in a residency program to receive specialized training
Veterinarians interested in pursuing certification in zoological medicine must finish a three- to four-year residency program. The American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM), the certifying board for zoological medicine, approves residency programs, which are taught and overseen by board-certified zoological veterinarians. While working at zoos, aquariums, wild animal parks, or other sites with captive exotic animals, residency programs provide veterinarians with in-depth training in zoological medicine and allow them to hone their clinical skills and research abilities. A Master of Specialized Veterinary Medicine degree can be earned via residency training, however some residency programs do not.
Earn a certificate in zoological medicine to advance your career
Although certification isn’t required for veterinarians, it does demonstrate knowledge and extensive training in the field of zoological medicine. Applicants must be graduates of an American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited veterinary medical program, hold a veterinarian license, and have published a minimum of five publications on zoological medicine in professional journals to be eligible for ACZM certification. Other prerequisites include completing a three-year ACZM-approved training program or practicing in zoological therapy for six years after graduating from veterinary school. Board certification and acknowledgment as an ACZM diplomat are awarded to applicants who satisfy all qualifying conditions.
To sum up
Becoming a zoo veterinarian opens the door to a unique and interesting career with great earning potential in all 50 states. Knowing the income potential of a zoo vet against the prerequisites to become one might help you determine if this is the appropriate career route for you. In this post, we will look at what a zoo veterinarian is, what they do, and how to get started in this fascinating healthcare field.