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Veterinary Experience?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by HappyHorse, 02.26.12.

  1. HappyHorse

    HappyHorse

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    So I'm sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere but I couldn't really find a thread with the exact answer I was looking for :p

    Anyway I was wondering if it was a legitimate requirement for a licensed veterinarian to be present in order to classify experience as "veterinary experience." I'm currently volunteering at a wildlife rehab facility in their hospital under a very experienced vet tech. They do have an actual wildlife vet who is present occasionally but definitely not most of the time I'm there.

    The volunteer work includes cage cleaning, weighing, bandaging, injections, medication, cleaning wounds, etc. Basically I do much more hand on and have lots more interesting veterinary experiences here than I do shadowing at a SA clinic.

    So basically I was wondering if I would have to classify this as animal rather than veterinary experience simply because a vet isn't always present.

    Thanks to anyone who can help clear this up for me! :)
    Last edited: 02.26.12
  2. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    I would contact the VMCAS Advisor hotline. I would say it counts, given that the vet is present sometimes, but the only way to make sure would be to call the VMCAS people and ask.
  3. rayray13

    rayray13

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    I worked on a mobile vet clinic in Africa under the supervision of someone who was not a liscensed vet. He answered to a vet at the main clinic, but the vet was not present on the mobile unit with us. I counted it as vet experience...
  4. Spinach Dip

    Spinach Dip Delicious with nachos

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    If some people consider cleaning kennels at a vet office is 'vet experience' then I would say caring for injured wildlife while a vet is occasionally not physically present should absolutely count.
  5. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    "Veterinary" experience means something done while under the supervision of a vet. They don't go by whether it sounds more or less relevant than something you could do while not under the supervision of a vet.

    I would count it, given the fact that you have worked under a vet, at least part of the time. But don't classify something as "vet " experience on the grounds that it sounds like, to you personally, more of a meaningful or relevant "vet" experience than something else you've heard listed as "veterinary" experience. Cleaning kennels in a vet's office is usually considered veterinary experience because of the actual things you get to see on the occasion that you're not cleaning.
  6. Tonkamoo

    Tonkamoo

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    I worked at a wildlife rehab clinic for a summer and performed similar duties to you. While the clinic did have a full-time vet, I got to work with him a very very small percentage of the time. I personally counted mine as veterinary experience in my VMCAS.

    I figured it was still giving me a view into the daily work of a vet and I think I learned more than I would have cleaning kennels, where a vet was present.
  7. JoAnna423

    JoAnna423 NCSU c/o 2017!!!!

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    Doesnt work under a PhD count as vet experience also? I called VMCAS to clarify and they informed me that yes, it does but now reading this thread I am confused.
  8. HappyHorse

    HappyHorse

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    Joanna I believe that's true too. I was just trying to say that there wasn't anybody present with professional education. Thanks to everyone who answered though you guys helped a lot and sorry again for confusing you!
  9. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Sorry but this is bad advice.
    What you think is logical has nothing to do with the rules that VMCAS has set up.

    I think the OP's situation is in a grey area based on the rules, and they should definitely check to be sure.

    Cleaning kennels at a vet office is definitely vet experience whether you think that qualifies or not.

    Rehab and Vet med although having similarities are NOT the same. The vet's presence is the key. And part time presence could be problematic.

    Also, because another person (Tonkamoo) listed a similar experience as vet, does not validate the conclusion, if there is a difference in the amount of time a vet is present.

    Be safe, and check.
    Either way, it is good experience though! :thumbup:
    Last edited: 02.27.12
  10. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Animal related research under a PhD counts (that is a clarification this year over past years).

    To be extreme and silly: cleaning a Dr of Psychology's car is not vet experience.

    Running bloodwork for an MD/phd who is doing research on lab animals is.

    There is a wide range in between those 2 extremes.
  11. Tonkamoo

    Tonkamoo

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    As stated by many people above the rules about working "under" a vet are interpreted as working in a place where a vet works. Everyone agrees that cleaning kennels in a vet clinic counts as vet experience (without bending any rules or getting into any grey zones) - thus working in a wildlife clinic with a full time vet should not fall into any grey areas.

    The only grey area I see is that the vet is just part time (not the fact that its wildlife vs small animal). So - if you work in a vet clinic cleaning kennels, and work outside the hours that a vet is present, do you call out those hours separately as animal experience rather than vet experience?

    If you are accurately describing you responsibilities and experiences, any schools are welcome to ask for further information if they are unclear.
  12. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    I agree, mostly. Not meaning to show a bias to wildlife per se.

    Sure a full time vet means no grey area. Where do you draw the line for work under a vet though? If he comes in 1 day a week is that enough? 1/2 day? 20 hours? I have no idea.... which is why it is a grey area... and it is best to check, and not to have to "justify" your choice later on.

    It's kind of like working in a small animal shelter. Many small animal shelters have minimal interaction with vets due to funding, that would probably not qualify as vet experience, but many others have full time vets working there, and there would be no question it is vet experience.

    Wildlife, small animal, large animal, it is all the same. Whether it is work under a vet is the question, and that is a grey area for an organization that has only uses a vet to come in from time to time.

    If I was unclear, my apologies.

    ps - Tonkamoo, your experience would not be a grey area, agreed!
  13. HappyHorse

    HappyHorse

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    I think I should also be clear about what exactly I mean when I say that the vet isn't usually present when I'm there. He is there I would say about 4 days a week for quite a few hours and is also called in if there are emergency situations that the techs cannot care for.

    However, when he is there he's most likely doing surgeries in a separate part of the building and the volunteers don't observe these surgeries. Other than that we'll just see him walking around checking up on recoveries and such.

    So basically this vet is present in the hospital a lot but I personally am not usually directly involved with his work if this make sense? Just thought I'd make sure everyone's on the same page :)
  14. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    yeah however you put this on VMCAS, be sure to put it that way, and not as you did above " They do have an actual wildlife vet who is present occasionally but definitely not most of the time I'm there. " Because based on that first statement, i was kind of wondering where things were being so grey haha ;)
  15. Trematode

    Trematode

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    To further clarify that, if I remember correctly, doesn't it have to be vertebrate research?
    I have done invertebrate research under a PhD. It does not count as animal experience to the vet school I have applied to.
  16. JoAnna423

    JoAnna423 NCSU c/o 2017!!!!

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    Kind of a side note...maybe I should know this BUT do vet schools verify your hours? Of course I was honest about mine but I am just wondering...how do they know it is accurate? Do they go through every application and verify the information?
  17. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    I was thinking about that too. I keep a very exact log of how many hours I have where, but is everybody that honest when listing hours?
  18. JoAnna423

    JoAnna423 NCSU c/o 2017!!!!

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    I am TERRRIIIBBBLLE about keeping track of pretty much everything, so I literally probably underestimated several of my hours for fear of over estimating and somehow someone finding out (even though I could not even manage to know my hours half the time). Or karma would spite me...or something. I am sure people over exaggerate, intentionally and on accident but I am also totatlly sure that vet schools know this and a few (or even more than a few) hours in something over someone else would not make a huge difference. I really hope it is more about "the experience". But who the heck knows?
  19. Spinach Dip

    Spinach Dip Delicious with nachos

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    LOL. Please excuse my rant.

    I know what applies for vet experience and what doesn't. I merely find some of the grey areas (such as the OP) intriguing.
  20. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    When I applied I listed my wildlife rehab experience as vet experience. I only applied to Penn and they did not have a problem with it.

    At that time (has it changed?) VMCAS said "supervised by a health professional." I was supervised by a licensed wildlife rehabber, and that shelter's vet was not usually involved in the wildlife end of things.

    I would call VMCAS if you are not sure, or better yet talk to your schools.
  21. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    That's what I was saying above as well.
  22. SnowyRox

    SnowyRox Pennwe c/o 2016

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    VMCAS changed the rules for this application cycle (so I was really confused b/c the application instructions were very different from SDN advice). But the directions to classify your experiences are very clear and you can contact the VMCAS hotline if you have any issues. I was disappointed that my research experience didnt' count as vet experience b/c it wasn't dealing directly with animals... but it didn't seem to hamper my application.

    Oh, and you can contact VMCAS with questions even if you're not applying this cycle. Always best to get the official word!
  23. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    I called and was told that research experience under a PhD with animals was considered animal experience and research under a PhD without animals was considered either employment or extracurricular experience. Just my experience.
  24. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    I thought the same thing.... although I applied in 2009, at that time I was of the understanding that something could only be classified as veterinary experience if it was under the supervision or overseen by an actual licensed veterinarian. Everything else, whether it was done with an MD, phD, DDS whatever, was to be listed as either "animal" experience or general work experience.

    Since SOV says that is a clarification of this year over past years, they have obviously extended the veterinary experience classification to other titles (seems silly...). I can't imagine the VMCAS people saying two different things.


    MORAL OF THE THREAD: Call VMCAS.
  25. mffox

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    Hello everyone! I have been lurking around here for a few weeks now and all the information I have found has been really helpful. I apologize if this has already been posted.

    My question is basically... Can veterinary experience from 9-10 years ago still count toward my hours I will put down on my application?

    A little background: I had volunteered for a year once or twice a week at a veterinary clinic when I was about 13. I was then hired as a kennel assistant/veterinary assistant when I was 14 and worked about 8 hrs a week for another year. Looking back on it, I'm surprised they let me do everything that I got to do... I would help in appointments, draw vaccines, medicate animals staying in the hospital, watch surgeries, assist in x-rays, do blood work and fecals.

    I had decided I did not want to be a vet for a while and ended up majoring in Philosophy in college. I've now decided to pursue veterinary medicine (yes I have a lot of pre-reqs to get out of the way :oops: ). I am 23 now and starting to organize my experience hours. I probably have around 800-900 hours at that veterinary clinic from when I was a young tot. Can that count??

    Thanks!
  26. hopefulinva

    hopefulinva VMRCVM DVM/MPH c/o 2016

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    Adcom at VMRCVM has told its applicants over the past few years that they don't double-check hours unless the hours seem outrageous. They have, however, declined applicants right off the bat that have very obviously lied about their hours (eg, horse experience equaling to about 8 hours a day since the time an applicant was 10). Keep in mind that they, at least, will accept pets/horses/etc as animal experience AS LONG AS you're old enough to be the sole caretaker of the animal. So if you're counting hours for walking Fido when you were 8, you may want to reconsider. ;)
  27. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Again, I would call VMCAS and ask. I included in my animal experience my first job at a pet boarding facility from when I was 16. I'm not sure the year, but I was 22 or almost 22 when I applied, so I think it was around 5 or 6 years old. Experience is experience, and I think you can and should include it, but I think you should definitely strive for a good bit more of experience that you can list as current experience.

    This may stir up trouble, and I don't mean it in a disrespectful way, but 13 is a very young age to be doing anything in a vet clinic. All the vet clinics I've worked for have had a rule (for legal reasons) that you had to be at least 16 to volunteer and at least 18 to do certain things (such as x-rays). So I'm not sure how well it would go over with the admissions board seeing that "Randomville Vet Hospital" was letting 13 and 14 year olds assist with x-rays, run blood work and other things that. Take it for what it's worth, I'm just throwing it out there that, at least for me personally, having someone say they were 13 or 14 doing all the things you're doing is kind of concerning. Not that you were incapable, just that it seems like it could potentially get someone in trouble. Maybe I am crazy.
  28. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Agreed, old experience definitely counts (take if from someone who has lots of "old"experiences".

    As for the moral issue, you are not crazy, but I am not sure it would matter. Could be a good interview question on ethics to me. Or to rattle the interviewee.
  29. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Haha, okay I'm glad I'm not "crazy", and I certainly didn't mean it as a slight to mffox, but rather sort of an eyebrow-raise about a vet clinic letting not just a volunteer, but a 13/14 year old volunteer no less, do all that. The liability risks alone boggle my mind.

    But hey, if that's how the cards fell for them and someone didn't have qualms about letting them into the clinic, then that's really cool! They're lucky to have that experience at such a young age.
  30. mffox

    mffox

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    Thanks for your responses. I take no offense to your comments libster06... I agree it is pretty surprising that they let me do all of those things in retrospect.
  31. sarah1029

    sarah1029

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    I did wildlife rehab and like you, had an experienced vet tech present but a veterinarian that was not always around (maybe a few times a week). I was told that my experience would count as animal experience since my work wasn't under the supervision of a veterinarian. On VMCAS I listed the majority of my rehab hours as "animal experience," and then set aside a few hours that I was able to spend with the veterinarian as "vet experience."
  32. AniSci

    AniSci AniSci

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    I would probably classify it as "vet experience" because, technically, vet techs are like vets except without the degree or the allowance to perform some of the things that vets are licensed to do.
    For instance, when I had braces for a year, the total time I spent with the actual doctor was probably around 5 minutes. The entire procedure was carried about by his assistants and techs.
    I've heard/read that all vet schools care about is if you've been exposed to lots of animals in different situations/environments. Cornell itself says that the whole idea of requiring prospective students to have at least 400(?) hours of work or volunteer time in a clinic or elsewhere is to make sure that the prospects realize how dangerous/frustrating animals can be. I think a (loose) quote they have is "students need to realize that animals kick, bite, and can be difficult to handle at times. We want students to be aware of this before they enter a career involving animals, blah blah blah."
  33. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    Yeah no, this isn't really the case at all. They are definitely totally different jobs, not degrees of the same job at all.
  34. bipolarbear123

    bipolarbear123

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    Since this thread has been revived, I guess I will ask a question I've had for a while.

    My cat is diabetic. My dad is a doctor (MD), and my mom is a nurse. Both have supervised me while injecting my cat with insulin, and giving her oral and oracular medication. Vet experience?
  35. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Is it under the supervision of a vet? I wouldn't count it.
  36. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    As always, your best bet is to call VMCAS and/or the schools you are applying to.

    My personal opinion is that is not vet experience... that is something many people do to care for their own animals. I don't think if your parents were truck drivers it would make it any more or less vet experience though. YMMV
  37. bipolarbear123

    bipolarbear123

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    No, but research with animals under PhD isn't a vet either...

    You're probably right; I won't count it. I'm just trying to scrape up everything I can (my experience hours are low compared to the average applicant's).
  38. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    yeah, research is a different topic though. Since this is a family pet that is getting treatment at home, I would still say no. Maybe try finding some more shadowing opportunities instead.

    My rule of thumb is that if you have to ask to scrounge hours, it probably isn't. There are some exceptions to that.
  39. Psorophoraferox

    Psorophoraferox LSU SVM c/o 2017

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    Unless either of them also has a DVM, not vet experience. I'd also hesitate on classifying it as animal experience, because it's with your own pet (some schools frown on using caring for your own pets as animal experience, but it varies). However, that does sound like a good experience to maybe bring up in/base a personal statement on.
  40. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I would definitely put it in as animal experience, even if it's your own. Schools are free to discount it if that's their policy, but since it varies, you have no option other than to include it and let the specific schools decide whether to count it or not.
  41. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I don't see your point.

    Research of the type you described shouldn't be in the 'veterinary experience' section, either.
  42. bipolarbear123

    bipolarbear123

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    I was told by VMCAS: "Veterinary experiences should relate to any veterinary clinical, agribusiness, health science, or research experiences that you have had with veterinarians, other health scientists, or other health professionals."

    A PhD can be a health scientist, can't it?
  43. sunshinevet

    sunshinevet

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    Just no.

    I think if you think this, you need more veterinary hours...!

    To the person who asked if medicating their pet came under vet experience, I would say no, as it's "pet care". Many many owners give tablets and injections on their own pets, so no, I don't think it should count. If you took your animal to the vet and drew blood from it etc that would be different - in my eyes atleast. Also giving insulin probaly takes 30s at best - even if you've been giving it for years I doubt it will make a big difference to your amount of hours...

    Someone posted earlier - if in doubt call VMCAS!!!!
  44. Trilt

    Trilt NCSU c/o 2016 Gold Donor

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    This varies by school, sort of like including pet hours. I did research supervised by a non-DVM and included it under veterinary hours; I actually wouldn't have been able to apply without those hours contributing to my total.
  45. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    That's interesting! It sounds like they changed the verbiage slightly again this year. In which case ... I don't know the answer to your question!

    If in doubt, always go with VMCAS.

    And also, don't panic over legitimate confusion about where to classify something. If a school disagrees, they won't hold it against you - they'll just reshuffle those hours into a different pile.
  46. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I would still say that it doesn't fall under vet experience.

    "Veterinary experiences should relate to any veterinary clinical, agribusiness, health science, or research experiences that you have had with veterinarians, other health scientists, or other health professionals." Doesn't sound like it means medicating your own animals, even if your family has a health professional.
  47. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I think that particular part of the conversation wasn't in regard to the injections, but was a reference to the poster's experience in research.

    I would definitely agree that administering injections to your dog at home is 'animal experience'. No question about that.
  48. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I was under the impression they might think it was vet experience because their parents are health professionals (an MD and a nurse) and that's why they were quoting that.
  49. bipolarbear123

    bipolarbear123

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    No, I'm actually an undergrad research and I was confused if my research would fall under vet experience or just research. When I emailed VMCAS asking, that's the answer they responded with. Still didn't really answer my question.

    And got it! Don't include pet care. You're right.. it would probably add up to 2 hours at best, but like I said, I feel that my experience is the weakest part about my app right now. Thanks for the help!
  50. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    03.09.07
    Messages:
    14,090
    Status:
    Veterinarian
    Veterinarian SDN 7+ Year Member
    Research is a definite yes for vet experience

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