Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2007
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  1. Pre-Veterinary
SO...what all counts for experience? I have a working interview at the E-vet for a tech position today, and Im sure those hours count. That'll be fulltime and be >900 hours.

Here's the one's I wonder about:
1.) I handle show dogs (mine and other peoples). I do comformation and obedience. Altogether, I put about 5/wk intothat with training and grooming
2.) I volunteer for the local forest preserve doing wildlife monitoring. That total is like1h/wk.
3.) I volunteer with Akita breed rescue doing home evals, transports, and soon to be some grooming and socializing in the shelter space we borrow from Mal rescue. That's going to be on the ballpark of 1h/wk.

Here's some Im considering:
1.) Volunteer one or two weekend days a month at the wildlife care center for injured and orphaned wildlife in the forest preserve system of a neighboring county. It would take like a hour to get there but be well worth it. So say 12h/month on average.

2.) Probably volunteer one day a week with a nearby large animal practice. That would be like 8h/wk

What counts? What do you think I should do. To date, I have virtually no animal health experience other than one day of job shadowing. Here's how the numbers come out:

Small animal Emergency: >900
Large animal: ~200
Wildlife: ~70
That's if none of those other things count.

IF they do count,
Small animal Emergency: >900
Animal behavior and training: ~150
Large Animal: ~200
Wildlife: ~100

How does that look? Will they have a problem with it all being accumulated in a 6month period.

Also, how do you document this time? Do they ask to see journalling, etc?

Sorry, I told you guys I would have a million questions!:)


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5+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2005
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  1. Veterinary Student
All 3 of those things that you mentioned you were wondering about most definitely count at ANIMAL experience on VMCAS. Schools most certainly consider how much animal experience you have, especially CSU when it comes to showing dogs/horses.

Given the fact you're an older student, I wouldn't stress too much that most of your experience has come in a relatively short amount of time. As a non-trad myself, most of my vet experience was fairly consolidated and I was successful in this application cycle.

Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck!


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2006
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  1. Post Doc
The VMCAS application (which most but not all schools use) divides your experience up into three categories: veterinary (observation or performance of actual medical procedures, plus research), animal (stuff like showing and training or kennel jobs that are animal related but not explicitly veterinary), and employment (non-animal, non-veterinary jobs you've had that show things like time management and leadership skills).

The three things you are already doing are *animal* experience (unless the wildlife monitoring is the hands-on kind with a vet or researcher who's actually trapping animals and doing things like administering a sedative and collecting samples, in which case you might call it veterinary/research).

The two things you are considering would probably be *veterinary* experience, depending on what exactly you were doing (giving treatments etc. under the guidance of a vet, like the E-vet tech job, is veterinary experience; cleaning cages and feeding animals at the wildlife center is animal experience).

All of them are good. Your balance of small, large, and wildlife is definitely a plus. Schools usually publish minimum required hours of *veterinary* experience, and also the average amount of vet experience that their successful applicants have, but if you've got long-term extensive experience in things like showing dogs and are a little short of average on the actual vet hours it's probably no reason to panic.

Also, how do you document this time? Do they ask to see journalling, etc?
You just list it on VMCAS. That's right, they trust you to report honestly. (This has led to dicussions of the prevalence and acceptability of "fudging" your hours - a recent example someone mentioned was another applicant who had listed every house call her equine vet had ever made as veterinary experience, even though VMCAS says care of your own pets doesn't count.) If you out-and-out lie, they'll probably figure it out one way or another, and I think that keeps most people pretty honest. For your own benefit, write down the hours you spend at each thing as you do them (like, I'd get home from shadowing and add that day's shift to my running list). This just makes it way easier to come up with an accurate number next October. If you're the kind of person who wants to keep notes on what you did and what you saw for your own reference, or jot down things that would make good personal statement fodder, that's fine but nobody is going to ask to see it.
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