The veterinarian's profession
The veterinarian’s profession is very a multi-disciplinary one. The doctor in veterinary medicine assumes a large variety of functions such as doctor of general medicine, dentist, surgeon, pharmacist, radiologist, ophthalmologist, anesthesiology and dermatologist.
Veterinarians are also called upon to perform a number of tasks such as;
• Examine animals
• De Worming
• Analyze radiographs, blood work, and other laboratory tests,
• Diagnose different pathologies
• Establish an adequate treatment plan
• Consult with clients
The fields of practice are equally varied, about half of graduates will practice in the private sector for small companion animals (cats, dogs and exotic pets like small mammals, birds reptiles and amphibians) but there also a large number of positions available within the domain of animals for consumption (pork, beef and poultry) , horses, public health (control of diseases transmitted to humans as well as (food health inspection ) and laboratories in diagnostic research.
In Quebec, to obtain the title of doctor of veterinarian medicine, you must have followed a pre-university program attesting to a collegial diploma (D.E.C) in one of the following programs; health sciences, art, literature. Also a D.E.C in animal technology, having also completed three courses in physics and two in mathematics or a D.E.C in animal production and completed the five above courses as well as one course in organic chemistry and biology. Then another 5 years in vet. Med. awaits you to be able to obtain the title of doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM).
However in order to be permitted to practice the profession you must have also succeeded in passing the exams that are required by law. Since a lot of progress has been realized in this discipline and the material to be covered is very vast, since September 1999, the program is covered over a five year period instead of four. The University of Montreal is the only institution in Quebec to offer the program and the faculty is situated in St-Hyacinthe. Admission into the program of veterinary medicine is very difficult since the program is in high demand but very little admissions are available. There are about 80 places available every year and the last collegiate to be admitted for the 2009-2010 year had an R curve of 32,389.
Furthermore, there a multitude of disciplines offered at the superior cycle for those with a diploma in veterinary medicine:
• Dermatology -Emergency and intensive care medicine
• Oncology -Medical imagery
• Cardiology -Surgery
• Neurology -Animal reproduction
• Internal medicine -Ophthalmology
• Anesthesiology -Animal behavior (7)
The average annual salary for a generalist in veterinary medicine varies between 49,601 $ and 68,631$ and for a veterinarian specialist from 62,750 $ to 86,190 $ (8)
Finally, to study in veterinary medicine, you must obviously like animals, but also have an interest and a marked ability in medical sciences. Moreover, it is absolutely necessary to have an exemplary sense of observation since animals cannot tell us what’s wrong. Also, versatility, excellent manual dexterity, an ease for verbalization, good judgment, compassion, sympathy, enjoy team work and have a lot of energy are essential qualities for being a good veterinarian.