Animal Patients, Human Patients: What's the Difference? When a dog breaks its leg or a child breaks his or her arm we rely on the medical profession for assistance. Many believe veterinarians have it easier than general physicians based on job requirements and schooling. In reality, they share many of the same characteristics and responsibilities, despite their differences. Similarities such as educational requirements to communication skills, and distinct differences such as patients, also keep them apart.
One should consider the educational requirements when comparing veterinarians and physicians. It is imperative that they go through a series of difficult science-related classes in order to succeed. Medical students take a variety of classes including biology, pharmacology, chemistry, and anatomy. Usually both groups of students choose to study pre-med or pre-vet for undergraduate studies. Most medical students have experience working in medical environments. Veterinarian students may work in neighborhood animal clinics, while medical students may work in a nearby hospital doing volunteer work.
To achieve a Doctorate (M.D.) or a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine usually eight to ten years of college are required. Four of those years consist of an undergraduate program, while the other four are spent at a professional school. Veterinary school has been thought of to be more difficult to get into because there are only twenty-seven universities throughout the United States. This makes the admissions process a bit selective.
Upon admittance to either vet or med school, a student must excel in the required core classes. During veterinary students' junior year they must choose what tracking they would like to pursue. The choices consist of the following: small (cats, dogs, birds), large (elephant, horse), companion (small animal and equine), food animal (dairy cows, swine, beef cattle), and equine (horses). This year is usually followed by an externship and related...