A veterinary pathologist contributes to the health and welfare of domestic as well as wild animals. Through this article let us take a look at how to become a veterinary pathologist…
Just like human beings, animals also tend to suffer from a number of infections and diseases. They also need doctors who take care of them, by vaccinating them, dressing their wounds and administering medicines to cure their illnesses. These doctors who specialize in animal health care are referred to as veterinary doctors, or simply vets. Along with them are also veterinary pathologists who undergo special training and undertake research regarding the various tissues that affect animals, both domestic as well as wild.
In-depth studies to be more familiar with animal diseases and conducting independent researches on the same are also carried out by veterinary pathologists. Some pathologists also work towards developing new drugs and vaccines to combat diseases and epidemics in an effective manner. Apart from laboratory research, veterinary or animal pathologists can be employed in various sectors like horse racing businesses, zoos, pet food industry etc. Let us now take a look at the requirements to become a veterinary pathologist.
Veterinary Pathologist Job Description
In order to qualify as a veterinary pathologist, you need to fulfill the educational requirements of a veterinary pathologist. There are several institutions which offer programs on vet pathologists, and help you define your career in this medical field. Given below is the information regarding the educational qualification and job requirements of a veterinary pathologist.
- The first step towards becoming a veterinary pathologist is to obtain a degree for the same. A bachelor’s degree program, whose duration is four years, is a must for all candidates who aspire to build a career in this medical realm. The discipline chosen for the bachelor’s degree can be animal science, biology, premedical studies and the like. A degree in veterinary science is also encouraged.
- After the completion of the graduate program, which also includes laboratory courses and fundamental research programs, the candidate will have to apply for the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). To apply for the program, the candidate should appear for an entrance exam conducted by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). In order to get admitted to the veterinary program, the candidate should pass the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
- The duration of the program may be from 3 to 6 years. The courses offered for this program are cellular biology, pathology, practical medicine and research design. The candidate can specialize in any one program of his choice. Apart from this, the aspiring candidate is also required to present a dissertation based on research. Post the DVM degree, a yearlong internship, where hands on training is provided, is a must.
- The intern can also apply for a residency program at an animal clinic or hospital. During the residency, which is for about three to four years, the intern works under the supervision of experienced pathologists. In order to set up a private practice or work without supervision in a pathological laboratory, the new veterinary pathologist has to apply for a license.
- For the credentials the candidate should appear for the licensing test conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). After obtaining the license and certificate, the career of an animal pathologist can be resumed. Pathologists can work inside the lab or also have field visits. Samples collected are studied in the lab, but to collect them, he may have to go to the place of origin of the disease and check the previous medical history of the animal.
- The veterinary pathologist salary may range from USD 75,000 to USD 114,000 on an annual basis. This may see an increase with experience, location and employment type (whether in a clinic or hospital).
This was a brief snapshot regarding how to become a veterinary pathologist. If you have compassion towards animals and want to contribute towards their health and betterment, then choose the career of a veterinary pathologist and fulfill your ambition.