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Pre-law to pre-vet?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by charchar, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. charchar


    Sep 21, 2014
    Hello, I'm currently a junior in Florida. I'm majoring in International Affairs & Political Science and have the intention of going on to law school after undergrad to become an attorney or maybe work as part of an NGO. When I started college, I was a pre-med Bio major, not because I actually had any desire for being a doctor, but rather because it's what my parents wanted from me. I finally got the guts to change my major and career path last fall semester. I know it may seem like I'm just confused, but studying poli sci and international affairs was something I had always wanted from day one. I absolutely love my majors and I won't be changing them; however, lately I've seriously considered the idea of becoming a vet. My main reason for it is that I just adore animals with every fiber in my being, and I know it may sound really cheesy, but the well-being and happiness of animals is so incredibly important to me. While I was calling vets around town to find a vet for my new bunny, the idea of being a vet really dawned on me. I've been talking with close friends about it, and they've all told me that despite my love for politics, they could better see me as a vet as opposed to an attorney or anything of the sort.
    However, my problem is that I'm already a junior in college and will be a senior by credits next semester. Since I was a Bio major my freshman year, I have taken Gen Chem I & II w/labs & Bio I & II w/ labs. I didn't do bad, but I didn't do well either, no Cs, but plenty of Bs making my science GPA a measly 3.18. My overall GPA isn't too hot either, it's a 3.27. With those science classes, it's not that I found them to be incredibly difficult, I just didn't care for them to dedicate much time to them, just did what I needed to get by. Freshman and sophomore year I was a pretty lazy student, so right now I'm working on bringing my GPA up to at least a 3.5 by the time I graduate because I'll be going to grad school no matter what career path I choose.
    I guess what I'm asking is if it's realistic for me to change my career path at this point, as a junior and with my GPA. I'm just pretty clueless when it comes to vet school requirements, and I just feel that at this point I'm way too behind.
    Thank you for any replies.
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  3. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2009
    The Dragon School
    There is much more to being a vet than adoring animals. Animals do not come to the vet alone, they come attached to people. And people can be amazing or they can be very much less than pleasant. There is also dealing with euthanasia, finances, the high debt of vet school, etc, etc. Before you make a commitment to switching over to vet med, see if you can shadow a vet first. You might find that vet med isn't really what you thought it was.

    The bolded above is something else I want to address. Vet med is heavily focused on science, if you didn't care for your undergrad science courses what makes you think you will enjoy veterinary medicine that is 100% science classes? This is a serious question. If you just didn't care for them because you didn't think they were important, that is different. But if you really didn't have interest in them or what was being taught, then vet med might be a tough road for you.

    It is never too late to switch to vet med and there is never such a thing as being too far behind. There are definitely still ways to get to vet school, finish the rest of the pre-reqs, do well in those, etc, BUT you should make sure vet med is something you want to do. Just loving animals with every fiber of your being is not enough.
    WateryTart likes this.
  4. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    Congratulations on your new bunny! I have two :)
    There are many ways to work with animals. Some people do it as their job... vet, vet tech, groomer, doggy daycare/kennel worker, behaviorist, zoo worker, wildlife rehabber, biologist, animal cop, lab researcher, farmer, police/military, service dog trainer, and so on. Some people work a "normal" job and spend their free time volunteering or working with shelters and rescue groups. The bunny rescues I have been involved with are typically people who have good jobs in unrelated fields and then are able to put some of their free time and money into rescue work.
    Vet medicine involves working with animals, working with people, and a lot of science. I would recommend enjoying all three!
    You are certainly not too late. I would recommend continuing in your current course of study and spending some time shadowing a vet. If you fall in the love with the field, you can always take your pre-req's later on.
  5. that redhead

    that redhead Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Unfortunately, a love of animals is not enough reason to go into vet med. An interest in science - and yes, some level of aptitude for it - is necessary because that's what vet medicine is: the science of animals. However, like bunnity said, there are many ways to get your animal loving fix, even to provide care for them, without going through vet school. Something you might consider is law as it pertains to animals. You would have a lot of opportunity to help animals by working to build legislation for animal welfare, or prosecuting people who do awful things to animals. With the ever-evolving perception of animals as sentient beings and the increasing recognition of the human-animal bond, there should be plenty of room for you to do good for animals. You could rescue, foster or volunteer in your spare time.

    My advice to you is to first shadow a veterinarian or two. See if what they do is what you think they do and evaluate if that aligns with your career goals. Learn about the economic problems our field is facing right now - not all that different than law's troubles! Consider the debt, income and job market.

    If you do decide to pursue vet med, you will likely need to take more prerequisite courses (biochemistry, physics, etc, depending on the schools you want to apply to) and do well in them to bring up your GPA. This could easily add a year or more to your plan. You will also need to take the GRE, gain veterinary experience hours (many applicants have into the thousands when applying, but at least a few hundred) and build relationships with people to write letters of recommendation for you. It will be a time consuming process, but you can definitely still make it happen.

    Good luck :)
    kcoughli likes this.

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