Veterinarian Job Description
A veterinarian also known as veterinary doctor is a person who is trained and qualified to diagnose and treat the diseases and injuries of animals. Veterinarians treat sick and injured animals, provide general animal care, and give advice to animal owners on the care of their animals.
Below is the veterinarian’s oath according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
Famous veterinarians include Robert Cook (equine health), Bernhard Lauritz Fredrik Bang (brucella abortus), Harry Cooper (animal welfare advocate), Louis j. Camuti (park avenue vet), Emma Milne (British vet), Paul Pion (VIN), and Buster Lloyd-Jones (clymping dene), among others.
Pursue a career in veterinary medicine if you have aptitude for science and passion for animals and their well being. You should have the willingness to help sick animals and the ability to get along with their owners.
What does a Veterinarian do?
Veterinarians may do some or all of the following:
- diagnose animal diseases and carry out medical procedures
- perform clinical research on human and animal health conditions
- carryout food safety and inspections
- treat sick and injured animals
- perform surgical operations on animals
- give injections and drugs to animals
- carryout vaccinations against diseases
- examine imports and exports of animal products
- give advice and educate animal owners about the care of their animals
- protect the welfares of animals through advocacy and other means
- teach at colleges and universities
Where does a Veterinarian work?
Places of work for veterinarians include:
- Animal research centers
- Veterinary clinics and hospitals
- Catteries or dog kennels
- Meat processing plants
- Veterinary supply companies
- Colleges and universities
- Government agencies
Veterinarians may work long and irregular hours including evenings, weekends and public holidays, or be on call. They work in offices, laboratories and outdoors environments. Their work may involve traveling to visit clients, wearing of uniforms and protective clothing, and working with large animals.
What is Required to Become a Veterinarian?
To be employed as a veterinarian, you will be required to have a doctor of veterinary medicine degree (D.V.M or D.V.D). The study of veterinary medicine involves laboratory exercises with life and dead animals.
Veterinarians are required to be registered with the veterinary council of their country of residence to practice.
A veterinarian may specialize in any of the following fields:
- Veterinary Anesthesiology – the study of anesthetic substances used in veterinary science
- Veterinary Nutrition – the study of the nutriennt requirements of animals
- Veterinary Pathology – the study of diseases of animals
- Veterinary Oncology – the study and treatment of malignant tumors in animals
- Veterinary Dentistry – the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with the oral health of animals
- Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound – the application of x-rays to veterinary science
- Veterinary Neurology – the study of the nervous system of animals
- Veterinary Cardiology – the diagnoses and treatment of heart disorders of animals
- Veterinary Dermatology – the diagnoses and treatment of animal skin diseases
- Veterinary Internal medicine – the study of the internal organs of animals and the disease affecting them
- Veterinary Surgery – the application of surgery to veterinary science
- Veterinary Ophthalmology – the diagnoses and treatment of eye diseases of animals
- Exotic animal medicine – the medical treatment of exotic animals
- Veterinary pharmacology – the study of medicines used in the treatment of animals
- Veterinary toxicology – the study of poisons and their affects on animals
- Preventive veterinary medicine - the branch of veterinay medicine concerned with the prevention, control or eradication of animal diseases
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Veterinarians need to have:
- self discipline
- physical stamina
- good memory
- good attention to detail
- good hearing and eyesight
- lgood hand-eye co-ordination
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- observational skills
- time management and organizational skills
- analytical and problem-solving skills
- animal-handling skills
- surgical skills
- the ability to care for sick animals
- the ability to assess and monitor patients' conditions
- the ability to perform euthanasia if necessary
- the ability to teach and instruct others
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to inspire confidence in others
- knowledge of veterinary science
- knowledge of animal care and hygiene
- knowledge of animal medicines
- knowledge of comparative veterinary anatomy & physiology
- knowledge of different animal diseases and illnesses
- up-to-date knowledge of veterinary research methods
- knowledge of biochemistry
- knowledge of microbiology
- knowledge of veterinary laboratory and surgical equipments
- knowledge of veterinary ethics and law
Should I be a Veterinarian?
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