Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians practice the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease in non-human animals of all types. They also may contribute to human public health by aiding in the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases (infectious diseases that are transmitted between species from non-human animals to humans), and support human well-being by caring for companion and service animals.

After earning their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree, veterinarians take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination in order to become licensed to practice according to the requirements of the state(s) in which they plan to practice.

Some schools of veterinary medicine may have other graduate degrees available for students to earn in combination with their veterinary medicine degree, including (but not limited to): Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.), or Master of Public Health (M.P.H.).

Veterinarians may also pursue board certification in one or more of the twenty-two specialties currently recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialists. Each specialty organization develops its own training requirements that must be met before a veterinarian can be eligible to attempt to take the specialty’s certification exam. This training typically consists of an internship (often one year) followed by the completion of a residency training program under the supervision of veterinarians who are board-certified in that specialty (usually two to three years).

You can learn more about this health profession at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and