Veterinary Residency Programs

Overview of Veterinary Residency Programs

Veterinary residency programs are offered at some of the top veterinary colleges and universities in the country.  The graduate programs focus on providing you with in-depth clinical research, continuing education and teaching opportunities.

About Veterinary Residency Programs

You generally work with a mentor, perhaps a senior professor or clinician, while you continue your graduate education at veterinary residency programs.  It takes about two to three years to complete residency programs.  At some colleges and universities you might spend nearly 70 percent of your time doing clinical research and another 30 percent completing coursework.  For this reason, veterinary residency programs are designed for in-person training rather than for online training.

If you enroll in a residency program at an international school, you can room with students from other countries and get to learn how to speak another language.  Training is very focused during residency programs, allowing your rate of learning to increase significantly. 

Types of Veterinary Residency Programs

Types of residencies you can enroll in are clinical pathology, radiology and diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, cardiology, internal medicine, radiation oncology, microbiology and comparative medicine and laboratory animal. If you apply for veterinary residency programs at the college or university where you are getting your graduate degree, the school can let you know whether or not you got accepted into the program before you graduate.  Furthermore, completing a veterinary residency program is a good way to prepare to pass the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) board certification examination. 

Master degree of Science of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Doctorate degree of Science of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine are degrees and focus areas that you can complete while you participate in veterinary residency programs.  Additional focus areas in residency programs are:

  • Ambulatory medicine
  • Theriogenology
  • Zoo and wildlife pathology
  • Zoological medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Anatomic pathology

Benefits of Completing Veterinary Residency Programs

Completing veterinary residency programs equips you to work with animals at zoos, veterinary hospitals and clinics.  You can also open your own private practice and treat dogs, cats and other animals.  After you build up your clientele, you can decrease the numbers of hours you work each day and week and set competitive rates.

Even more, working as a veterinarian is one of the most rewarding jobs because it allows you to align your lifelong passions with what you do to earn a living.  In addition to learning how to diagnose injuries and illnesses in animals and perform surgeries and other treatment methods, when you complete veterinary residency programs you gain:

  • Ability to help your own injured or ill pets and the pets of your family and friends
  • Skills to work with zoos to keep captive animals healthy and thriving
  • Remain current on treatment techniques impacting animals
  • Knowledge to continue to conduct clinical research to find medical cures for animals
  • Learn how to identify and understand animal communication styles and techniques
  • Calm injured or ill animals with a touch or the sound of your voice
  • Return a small child her or his pet in improved health and condition
  • Educate families on the importance of a healthy diet and exercise for animals
Earning a Living as a Veterinarian

You might be surprised to learn that jobs for veterinarians are amongst the fastest growing career fields in the country.  In fact, the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expects veterinarian jobs to grow by 33 percent from 2008 through 2018.  The middle 50 percent of veterinarians earned from $61,370 up to $104,110 a year as of May 2008 according to the Bureau.  However, the top 10 percent of veterinarians earned more than $143,660 a year.

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