Animal's Doctor….Want to be a Veterinarian?

Animals need doctors too! Many people, who don’t know a lot about pets, might say they are different from humans, and that they don’t get cancer or need surgical operations. But the truth is – animal’s needs are very similar to humans and when they get a disease or become sick, they require much of the same treatments as humans. I have many friends who have pets, but they don’t know what to do when their animals get sick.

To help them (and many others), I want to become a veterinarian and would like to study at Cornell University or University of Pennsylvania. Veterinarians (also referred to as ‘vets’) are licensed health professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in animals. They are responsible for caring for animals by dressing wounds, treating infections and performing many types of operations (“Veterinarian Job Description”). Veterinarians are also responsible for things such as, “…

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inspecting the living spaces of animals on farms or ranches to ensure that they are free from possible sources of infection.” (3) Veterinarians must have knowledge in many areas, both inside and outside the animal hospital. Vets work very hard, so how much do they earn?The average salary of a veterinarian in Korea is about $68,446 (“??? ?????? : ??iN”) and in the USA the average salary is around $93,250. The lowest 10 percent earns less than $51,530 and the top 10 percent earns more than $144,100 per year (“Veterinarian Job Description”).There certainly is a lot of difference between the Korean and US salary of a veterinarian, so I think working in the USA is more appealing. I want to become a veterinarian so that I can diagnose and treat diseases in animals and earn a good salary.

Since I was young, I’ve been interested in becoming a veterinarian. I’ve always loved animals, think it’s really fun to work with them and the salary is good too. I believe I would make a good veterinarian because my father, who is a Doctor, already taught me many treatments for animals. I also have a lot ofexperience working with animals as I have owned over 300 fish, 50 parrots, 20 hamsters, 20 hedgehogs, 10 rabbits, 10 dogs, 10 turtles, 3 great blue herons, 2 swans, a cat and a monkey. For all these reasons, I think I would make a great vet.

It takes a lot of work and planning to become a veterinarian. I first have to graduate from high school and focus on completing courses that are related to math and science such as biology, chemistry and physics (“College of Veterinary Medicine – Cornell University”). I then have to apply and be accepted to university where I must earn a Bachelors degree in Biology. The University of Cornell states that, “Before you are accepted into a school that offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, you will need to work towards or earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology.”(9) I plan to pursue an undergraduate degree which will take at least four years, but some schools may accept me after completing only two – depending on marks, etc.It’s also important that a veterinarian possess emotional strength, stability and maturity (“How to Become a Veterinary Assistant”).

They should also have good interpersonal skills to be able to relate to the families they work with as they deal with sensitive issues including euthanasia. (“What Specific Skills Do You Need to Be a Veterinarian?”). Cornell University is one of the universities that I dream of attending. Located in New York, USA, Cornell was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and has over 14,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students from 50 US states and 122 countries across the world. The requirements for acceptance to Cornell are rigorous and include having a GPA of at least 3.7 and GRE Verbal and Quantitative scores above the 80th percentile.

According to Cornell University, you must meet these prerequisites for entrance. “You will be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) when applying to the DVM degree program”(4). Along with these tests, applicants must also complete at least a semester of organic chemistry and a semester of upper level biology, biochemistry or physics. They don’t require seeing high school transcripts or SAT scores when applying for the Veterinary Medicine program. I will already have my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, but most likely from another university. The cost to study Veterinary Medicine at Cornell, as a non-New York State resident, is $45,575 for the tuition, $8,600 for the room and board, $1,000 for books and supplies, $7,600 for personal expenses for a grand total of $62,775 per year (“College of Veterinary Medicine – Cornell University”).

Attending Cornell requires me to keep my grades high and focus mainly on science related courses. When studying Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, you can take a combined DVM/ PHD Degree program, which prepares students to become leaders in science, medicine, teaching and be excellent researchers. This program also opens many doors to other careers in science and other related fields. The average student completes at least four years of undergraduate studies in classes such as biology, cancer biology, microbiology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, animal science and math. Some students will go into this dual/combined DVM/MS or DVM/ PHD program and others will go on after veterinary school to get additional degrees and training.

One of the classes required for this degree is Cancer Biology. Animals are affected by cancer like all other species and Cornell does a lot of cancer research including nanotechnology, stem cell research and genomics. Another class you have to take is Biochemistry, which includes the study of molecular interactions and protein folding to organ systems and immune cells. This research allows researchers to make advances in immunity, reproduction, cancer, diabetes, neurobiology and developmental biology which help improve the health of animals as well as humans (“College of Veterinary Medicine – Cornell University”). Studying Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University requires having a good understanding of science related topics and has a very good reputation in the field of research. Another university I’m interested in attending is the University of Pennsylvania.

This university located in Pennsylvania was founded in 1884 and has a great reputation as being a leader in veterinary medicine. There are over 21,000 full time students and more than 3,200 part time students who go there. The requirements to go to this university for the VMD-PHD program is having an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. There is no minimum GPA requirement, but the average student who is accepted here has a GPA of at least 3.7.

Applicants are also required to take the GRE, and the same applies here – there is no said minimum required, but students usually have scores between 640 and 730. The cost for studying at the University of Pennsylvania is $47,668 for tuition, $2,586 for general fees, $1,018 for instructional technology fees, $19,000 for room and board, $5,000 for books and computer, and $6,000 for miscellaneous fees which include health insurance, for a grand total of $81,272 for non-Pennsylvania residents (“University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine”). Attending the University of Pennsylvania is quite expensive but that is to be expected as they are leaders in the field of Veterinary Medicine. To become a Veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania, one must complete a combined VMD-Phd degree. Students perform their veterinary training at the School of Veterinary Medicine and their PhD training in one of the nine available Biomedical Graduate Groups where they can choose from over 500 thesis laboratories. The first two and a half years are spent studying basic science classes then more relevant biomedical sciences.

Completing the PhD here takes about three years and requires you taking classes like Cell and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Microbiology, Virology, Parasitology,Immunology, Pharmacology, and Bio-engineering. The most important class that you will take is Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology which study viruses, parasites, prions, and bacteria and the serious diseases they cause such as HIV, malaria or hepatitis C (“University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine”). I like the variety of classes offered at the University of Pennsylvania so I can get a VMD-PHD degree with alot of knowledge and experience. I want to study at Cornell University or the University of Pennsylvania so that I can become a Veterinarian. I am leaning more towards Cornell as I always dreamed of living in New York and the cost of studying here is not as much as the University of Pennsylvania.

I am travelling to the USA this summer and I plan to visit both of these campuses to see more firsthand. I have learned that to become a Veterinarian I have to keep my grades up.Currently, my grades are about a 4.0, so I need to continue to study hard to keep them high throughout high school. I also need to focus on taking honours and AP level classes as well as many science classes.

I know that becoming a Veterinarian takes a lot of money and time but it will be worth it when I am rewarded with the opportunity to help sick animals get better and be healthy. I also want to find a cure for many different kinds of cancer.