Apr 11, 2010
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I graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry in 09 with a GPA of 3.15 and a Sci GPA of around 3.25. I have shadowed a small animal vet for roughly 50 hours. However I have worked in a hospital pharmacy where I compound IV fluids for the hospital for two and half years full time while going to school full time and before that I worked in a pathology lab full time while going to school full time. The problem is I pretty much need to work full time while taking the remainder of the the pre-reqs to get into vet school so it makes it very hard to squeeze in time to volunteer or shadow. I have also tried to get a job at local vet clinics however I am unable to do so because of the pay and benifits I have at my current job are way better than what I would get at any vet clinic. My question is that with all of the healthcare experience (over 4,000 hours) would I ever be a competitive applicant for a vet program or should I maybe consider another route since my gpa is so low? Does this healthcare experience that I have help me in anyway even though it deals with people rather than animal?
 

moosenanny

UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!
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I think that if vet med is your dream, then go for it! The healthcare experience will help you, but be aware that admissions committees will question if you'd rather go into human medicine. I Candy Striped for two years in high school, then had 1000's of hours with animals throughout college and nothing with people, and UCD still questioned if I ever wanted to be a medical doctor. As long as you have a strong answer prepared, you should be fine.

And, while your GPA is on the low side and will prevent you from being able to apply to some OOS schools, you can certainly impress schools by getting A's in your remaining pre-reqs.

I know this didn't answer all of your questions, but I hope it is at least somewhat helpful :)
 

moosenanny

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I would also like to add that 50 hours probably won't cut it at any school. You didn't mention when you'd be applying, but if it is two cycles in the future, you still have time to get experience! Try shadowing on weekends for as many hours you can, and they will eventually add up. Also, diversity of experience is really important, so maybe try finding an equine vet or LA vet in addition to SA. I suggested to someone the other day that they work with a mixed-animal vet so that they could get cow, horse, cat, and dog all at one location.

Additionally, some schools don't look at cumulative GPA. For instance, I was accepted OOS to LSU, where they look at pre-req/science GPA and your last 45 units. If you do well with your remaining classes and try to take 45 more credits that you can do well in, then that can really bring you up. Also, a stellar GRE score can help off-set a lower GPA.

Hopefully others will have even better advice and insight than I do :p
 
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lalzi22

The OSU CVM c/o 2014!!
Nov 10, 2009
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Welcome!

Like moosenanny said, you NEED to get more hours. I know it may seem impossible, but 50 hours is not going to cut it for any school. Many applicants have thousands of hours, and your GPA is lower than the average (3.5-3.55). With a lower GPA you need to shine with a high last 45 GPA/pre-req GPA, high GRE score and you need to get both a breadth of experience as well as depth in a field or two (meaning over 200-300 or more hours in at least one field).

There is no scientific formula to getting into vet school, so I cant say get x hours in this and y GPA, but if this really is your dream you need to prove to the adcoms you can handle a heavy course load in upper-level sciences, as well as show them that you understand the veterinary field and still want to be a part of it. To do this you need to up your GPA (hard considering you graduated, so you need a high pre-req/last 45 GPA/high GRE) and get hours. Hopefully you can do this while still working, but many people have to quit their jobs for a semester to do it. That may suck, and I did not do it so I cannot really say anything about it, but hopefully one of the other non-trads can chime in and say how they handled a job vs getting prepared for vet school.
 

lei325

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A lot of schools I applied to (I was OOS for every single one because unfortunately RI doesn't have a vet school) required a minimum 180 hours of veterinary experience. The average experience of admitted applicants, however, is well over 1000 hours. I was fortunate to get some experience done while working as a vet tech for a small animal clinic (I worked 40 hours a week for 11 months, so a lot of hours) and also shadowed an equine vet for a class while in college. I think the experience you have will look good, but you definitely need more hours shadowing a vet or working with animals.

My top choice while I was applying was Tufts, and I talked to a woman who had been on the admissions committee in the past who said that if I really wanted to be competitive, I'd have to get some research lab experience in. I kinda started to panic, since I was working full-time, finishing up my pre-reqs and then I had to find a place to get lab experience. Thankfully my mom had some connections and I ended up finding a pathology lab to volunteer/work one day a week at Brown University. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that every little bit helps. Yes, if you volunteer at a clinic or shelter one day a week (or on your days off), you'll have less down time to relax and recharge, but it will improve your chances of getting in (plus, you'll get up to that 180 mark for vet experience). Sometimes it's overwhelming when you already have so much on your plate, but it makes the reward (acceptance to vet school) totally worth it. :D
 

StartingoverVet

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hopefully one of the other non-trads can chime in and say how they handled a job vs getting prepared for vet school.
I also did not have the option of taking a lower-paying job just to get veterinary experience so I did the shadowing route. It took me 2.5 years to slowly accummulate enough hours to where I felt I could be taken seriously as a candidate (500-600 hours). Between intensive full time job, taking pre-reqs, being married, and shadowing once a week there wasn't much time left for anything else.

If you are patient you can get the hours necessary. I think, in my case, it was clear that gaining the hours was a large sacrifice and even though it took a long time for not so many hours, it demonstrated my commitment to vet med.

This method might not work for you but find some way that you can build those hours. As the others said, 50 hours is not going to cut it. You need to demonstrate commitment to vet med (which your "human" hours don't provide) and that you understand what it means to be a veterinarian (which your "human" hours don't provide).