I too am strongly considering taking the plunge into the world of veterinary medicine after obtaining a bachelors degree in Sociology (of all majors) and a Masters degree in education. I am simply not satisfied with where my education has taken me, and do not see myself happily teaching history several years down the road. I had always had dreams of becoming a vet but confidence was a major issue at the time, and, like you, I strayed off that path.
Anyways…..I am 28 years old (ugh) and feel terribly old to be considering making this enormous, costly, and time consuming switch. As an individual with a sociology and education background, I feel overwhelmed by the prerequisite coursework. While math has not always been my strong suit, I am confident in my science abilities… Yet, I’m still unsure how to tackle these prerequisites while considering the fact that time is not on my side and I’d like to get them over with!
Do you have any advice or suggestions in terms of completing prerequisites? I believe you mentioned that you were accepted to UC Davis before actually completing all of yours.
Also , did you get a job in a vet clinic before having any experience, or did a volunteer stint turn into something more?
I understand that you will not likely get back to me, but I would appreciate any advice! It’s nice to know there are other people who have made the switch!
Best of Luck,
Hi SML —
First of all – you are not too old to make the switch to veterinary medicine. I just responded to an email from a woman in her 50s who is considering making the switch, so if you consider that I encouraged her to follow her heart and do what will make her happy in the long term, you can imagine what I am going to tell you! 😉
As for completing prerequisites – since you already have degrees, I would suggest you try to complete your pre-reqs either post-bac or at a local community college. That is what I did. All coursework that was not required to be from a 4-year college I took at a local community college for a minimal cost and the courses that were needed from a 4-year institution I took via distance education through Colorado State, University of New England, and UC Berkeley. When I applied to UC Davis I had 5 prerequisite science courses completed and when I was accepted I had 5 left to complete. It was a crazy spring/summer completing coursework, but you do what you have to, right?
As for getting experience. Most of my experience was at a local animal shelter where I had been volunteering for years before making the switch to veterinary medicine. I simply changed the type of volunteer work I was doing to focus on working with the clinic staff. That volunteer work led to a summer internship before my application was due, so I managed to squeeze in 500-600 hours in the 9-10 months between switching careers and applying to vet school. I also volunteered at the local zoo but not in a veterinary capacity. Overall, what you need is experience – hours matter but you also want to get a variety of experience, so don’t just volunteer at only cat clinics – try to get exposure to other species as well.
Thanks for reading the blog and thanks for writing! Let me know if you have any additional questions.
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