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Pre-vet attrition rate

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by pressmom, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    There is an interesting thread on hSDN about the attrition rate for pre-meds. Anyone on here have an idea of how many pre-vets stop being pre-vet in college? We've had a lot of threads about acceptance numbers, but what about those who come in as freshmen but don't ever apply. I wasn't pre-vet in undergrad, so maybe some of you who were would have a better idea about this.
     
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  2. twilson

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    i have no idea about the numbers but can tell u i was one of them...damned chemistry:rolleyes:
     
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  3. Fairyblastt

    Fairyblastt UC Davis class of 2013
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    From an animal science POV, I think about 90+% of my 101 class was pre-vet, and I'm betting that a little over half of those actually ended up applying. Most that didn't, quit because of grades. Some changed their minds after working in a vet clinic, and a lot of people remaining decided on grad school instead.
     
  4. BodhiBird

    BodhiBird TCSVM c/o 2013
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    I graduated from a small school and wasn't offered the choice to be "pre-vet," I got my degree in Biology and just made sure to meet all the course requirements for acceptance to vet school - I was the only student in my graduating class interested in vet school, most of my friends are either now in or applying to med school. I do though work with a vet who graduated from Iowa State for undergrad and vet school. He said about half or so of the "pre-vet" students dropped out for various reasons.
     
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  5. EqSci

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    I go to an agricultural school, and in the degrees that are science related I'd say a huge percentage come to college planning on going to vet school. I remember freshman year they had us raise our hands if we wanted to be vets, and usually 95% of the class raised their hands. I'm a senior now and I only know a handful of people who are actually applying. ((small school so it's easy to keep tabs on everyone))

    Our freshman year my college pounded into our heads that we're pretty much ridiculous for wanting to go to vet school and it's too hard for most of us, we just don't understand the commitment and difficulty involved, etc. etc. Maybe not the most tactful of methods, but it works... most of the kids changed their minds within the first year. And those of us that knew what we were getting into just tuned them out and worked that much harder to prove them wrong. My school has a high acceptance rate for vet school, and I'm guessing partly it's because they do this.

    I would venture to guess that pre-vet has one of the highest rates of people who change their minds. Whether they do it within a week or within a few years, there are just sooo many people out there who don't understand the profession and think it would be fun to work with puppies and kittens all day. I'm sure people can have rose glasses on when they're choosing any career, but it's especially easy to do for pre-vet.
     
  6. Pistol Pete

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    I can't speak to possible drop out rates, but I can say that I remember the day as a sophomore that I looked at the "statistics" page of the 3 or 4 vet schools I was considering. I honestly thought the website had bad information....class of 100 and only 12-20 males....to the point that I called the college and asked "Is that ratio correct?"... it was. As a pre-vet major my advisor had never mentioned the absurd odds a male faces of getting in vet school.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the process or the fact that the class must reflect the applicant pool but if you are male with no in-state school and no contract with another state, you would take one look at the statistics and reconsider, regardless of your GRE and GPA.

    Pete
     
  7. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    you said it yourself though: the matriculation ratio reflects the application ratio. if they see a male face during interviews, they're going to remember you! it probably works much in your favor, being male.
     
  8. Kat0303

    Kat0303 UTCVM co 2012 WOOOOOOO!
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    The odds of be accepted are the same for males as they are for females. There are fewer males that apply, so it evens out. Gender isn't an issue in getting into vet school. If I were male, I wouldn't reconsider applying, considering my chances would be just as good as the next. Even if you are out of state, you share the same odds of being accepted as a female applying out of state.
     
  9. EqSci

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    I agree with Kat. Pete, I think you looked at the odds and thought that the schools just accepted a lot more females, but that's not the case. It's just that there are a lot more females applying to vet school than males. Check out the 'dudes' thread here, several of the guys used their gender as a bonus! It's almost to the point now where males are a minority, so you'd actually have BETTER odds than a female.
     
  10. nyanko

    nyanko total trash mammal
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    If the class reflects the applicant pool, then wouldn't your chances be statistically the same as an equal female's chances? :confused:
     
  11. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    Okay guys, this isn't the 8000th thread about guys vs. girls in vet school admissions. Please start another thread if you want to talk about this AGAIN. I had an honest question about pre-vet drop out rate, and I appreciate those who have answered it.
     
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  12. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers stabby cat
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    Haha. But there are so many girlssss!

    I have no idea about the overall percentage, but one of my best friends completed every single pre-req for vet school before suddenly coming to the conclusion that she wanted to teach history to high schoolers instead. "I haven't enjoyed a single moment of these classes in any way, shape, or form," she said. She stuck with it because it was her father's dream to be a vet but he never achieved that, and she couldn't manage to tell him that her dream for herself no longer aligned with his.
     
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  13. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    I go to a school with an animal science department of roughly 150 students per year. In the freshman ansci class we have ~100-120 who say they intend to go to veterinary school. Each year we have roughly 30 who end up applying to veterinary school.

    So our attrition rate seems to be around 70%.
     
  14. Pistol Pete

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    Pressmom...I was truly responding to your original question re: attrition, not attempting to hijack the thread. Just giving a perspective of how the numbers hit me like a Mack truck.

    Here is my logic using the statistics from your school, UTK class of 2007

    Class of 70....58 women...12 men. Ratio of 83-27%

    From the UTK website:
    OOS Applicants - 760
    OOS Interviewed - 157
    OOS Accepted - 16

    If you apply the ratio of the incoming class to the above you get

    205 OOS Male Applicants
    42 OOS Males Interviewed
    4 OOS Males Accepted

    From my perspective as an OOS male, those are daunting numbers. One that could cause considerable attrition for undergraduate OOS males caring to do the math.

    NOTE! I am not saying the numbers are no less daunting for females just awfully sobering when considering your future dream profession.

    Pete
     
  15. stick91

    stick91 Oregon State CVM c/o 2013
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    Like BodhiBird I was the only one in my graduating class interested in vet med. In the science department (which is three schools combined) there were 2 others the same year as me and they are both in vet school now! I remember there being one other girl from my school initially interested in vet school as a freshmen/sophomore and then her interests led her to other things in the science realm. Guess that makes 50%, heh.
     
  16. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    I don't have exact numbers...but I can tell you that every single person that I knew (from freshman year to now being a 4.5 year senior and I graduate in 9 days!!) that was once pre-vet is no longer interested.

    Pre-meds, on the other hand, I'd say 95% of the students in all our science dept. from our main campus claims to be pre-med.
     
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  17. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012
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    Pete, if more qualified males applied then more qualified males would get in. More females apply, and of the applicant pool more females are qualified. Nothing to do at all with gender, just there's more females applying. OOS stats are crappy for everyone, but don't let that stop you. The only way you know you won't get in is by not trying in the first place.

    Now for attrition, I only ever met 6 pre-vets at my state school. None of them ever got to the app process.
     
  18. runnerDC

    runnerDC Tufts - class of 2011
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    Keep in mind that the 16 OOS 'accepted' probably represents the 16 seats they have for OOS students, NOT the number they actually had to accept to fill the seats.
    Schools overadmit and use a waitlist to make sure they can fill all of their seats. So, while the numbers are still likely to be daunting, they are not going to be quite as bad as you make them look below.


     
  19. karmapple

    karmapple OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    Not to sound mean, but I'm glad we lose so many people along the pre-vet path. Imagine how much more competitive it would be if everyone who started out pre-vet ended up applying! :scared: It would go from difficult to impossible!
     
  20. Moonpaw

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    I'm not quite so sure about that. I'm sure it would get a little bit more competitive, but it seems like more people drop out from grades and the difficulty of the program, so they probably wouldn't have made it very far in the admissions process anyways.
     
  21. HopefulAg

    HopefulAg Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014!
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    Well in our seminar class they made us take (to introduce all incoming Biomedical Sciences majors to the various options we had) they polled us the first day as to what we wanted to do. Doctors? About 10 or so. Dentists? 5. Optometrists? 2. Other? 7. Vet? Everyone else. About 100 or so.

    But now, in the vet school requisite classes, it's about 10 or 20 that want to go to vet school. The others are pre-med/pharmacology/etc.


    Also when you consider the clinical setting, there's a lot of people who start with the same goal you have (get experience for vet school) and find they can't handle the stress/demands/situations/goriness of the job and they drop out based on that. Attrition is quite high around here. I'd imagine 60-70%. But we still have about 300 members in our pre-vet club.

    That's what they did here too, although in nicer form. Even at new student conference the guy who came and talked to us was a vet and he went 'incidentally, how many of ya'll want to be a vet?' and about half of us raised our hands. He told us that it'd be a long, hard road and we'd have a much better time if we just switched majors now. Even referred people to the registrar's office.

    Actually I think it's at that point already. AVMA wrote an article not too long ago that the veterinary profession had finally tipped to the majority (53% I think it was) being female. That's only the USA, though.
     
  22. LadyHitokiri

    LadyHitokiri UIUC CVM Class of 2013!
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    I'm not quite sure about the specific numbers for my undergrad, but I DO know several people who switched from wanting to be a veterinarian because of the courses. Some people just couldn't handle the difficulty, while others could handle the difficulty but didn't enjoy the material (i.e. physiology, biochemistry, etc.) so they switched to graduate school or other animal-related fields like humane education.

    I guess I just repeated what everyone else said, but in my own form. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful with the numbers! Maybe I'll ask my department how many people in the Animal Science major (majority of pre-vets at my school choose this major) are in the Pre-vet concentration for freshman and how many there are for seniors currently. It'd be a decent estimate, I think.
     
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  23. KKibo

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    There is a pretty significant dropout rate of my school aswell, we don't even offer a pre-vet or animal science degree, but our pre-vet society has around 20 freshman, 5 sophmores, and 2 or 3 juniors and seniors per year.

    I just don't get it. I mean, yes the classes are challenging...but what do they expect out of college? A walk in the park?
     
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    #23 KKibo, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  24. Groominator

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    I dont think my school even has a pre-vet club. Its a *very* pre-med heavy school, but I have only met one other pre-vet. The number of students aiming for med school or nursing is impressive. But no vet support. And as much as out pre-med advisor is inadequate for pre-med (my BF just went through med school apps, so i'm sorta familiar with their process), she's got even worse quality advice from pre-vets.

    In fact I usually tell people I'm pre-med and only mention veterinary if they ask further questions, when i'm at school. Easier that way.
     
  25. Trilt

    Trilt love doc + puppy snuggler extraordinaire
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    My pre-vet club has... maybe 5-10 seniors, 10-15 or so juniors? Probably 100+ freshmen, and somewhere in between for sophomores. So... high attrition. xD
     
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  26. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers stabby cat
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    As an after thought to my previous message, I'll mention that there are hundreds of pre-vet freshmen and considerably fewer pre-vet seniors... but still quite a few. But this is where most of the pre-vet hopefuls in Oklahoma choose to go to school, for obvious reasons.

    In a similar note, I'll say that ~85% of pre-vet students are animal science and the other ~15% is mostly zoology, biochemistry, biological science, wildlife mgmt...
     
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  27. bclover

    bclover UIUC-CVM Class of 2012
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    I would love to know how many "non traditional" vet students (had another career for a while) were part of the pre-vet drop-out scenario. I know that I was, but I'm back many years later.

    I also know a significant number of people that I worked with at an ag science company "wanted to be a vet and started out as pre-vet." (When I was accepted into vet school they came out of the wood work - it was pretty cool.)
     
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  28. autumnmuse

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    Wow. I have to admit, I find the statistics intimidating. I'd like to think I won't let anything stop me following my dream. Especially being non-trad and having additional hurdles to overcome. But. There's gotta be reasons why so many change their minds. I think I'm glad I decided to get my vet tech certification first, before my BS. These two years will hopefully help test my resolve and make sure this is the path for me.

    Also, I wonder how much of it is family pressure? Like I said in another thread my parents went from being happy, excited and bragging about my decision to go back to school, to calling me crazy and irresponsible once they found out the cost vs. salary ratio. Now, luckily I don't live with my parents, haven't for years, and I have a husband and my own kids. My dad turned to my husband right after calling me insane, and said "what do YOU think about this?" to which my husband immediately replied "I'm fine with it." Thank you honey!!! :love: But, again, I'm non-trad, and I imagine parental pressure is a bit stronger on someone who is still used to living at home/their parents are still the primary authority figures in their lives.
     
  29. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    I had asked one of my advisors what course really did it for people(thinking it would be Ochem) and they said that Gen Chem tended to be the biggest one that turned people away.

    In general though I think its the combination of gen chem, ochem and physics that really stops a lot of people from applying.

    Off the top of my head I can think of 4 people who want to go to vet school but O-chem is currently giving them a run for their moneys. Situations where they say:

    "I just need to retake Orgo 1 because they wouldn't let me take Orgo 2 since I got a D"

    "I've dropped the class twice now because the first professor seemed too hard. The second was way worse so I think I will retake it when the first one teaches it again"

    If you ask around I bet you will find people who have similar stories.
     
  30. EqSci

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    In my personal experience with friends, it's not a specific course that changes their mind, just the reality check of how competitive it is and how hard they are going to have to work. Most of them kept the same major, just changed their career plans. For example my best friend entered college in a Biology major, and after freshman year she decided she didn't want to be a vet bad enough to work as hard as she would have to in order to get the grades/experience/test scores. She will be graduating with her Bio major, and has still taken all the courses that I have taken for vet school, and has done pretty well in them.

    So I guess in some cases it's the overall hard work that deters people and not a specific course or two.
     
  31. Pistol Pete

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    I tend to agree that gen chem has the biggest impact just because it is the first major hurdle for those that decided their major would be pre-med or pre-vet driving to school the day of registration. My freshman gen chem class was held in auditorium that felt as large as the south endzone of most football stadiums. It was obvious the professor intended to cut the size down in quick fashion. After the first test, he informed the room that if you didn't make an A or B, you might as well drop the class. Ochem and Physics exacts a pretty good toll years 2 and 3.

    Pete
     
  32. twelvetigers

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    I was watching the Today Show or some bunk like that (the one with Al Rocher and Kathie Lee?) and they had Matthew Broderick and the author of The Tale of Despereaux on the show. There's an animated movie based on the book coming out soon in which Broderick is the voice of the main character. But anyway, a kid asked the author why all of her books involved animals, and her response was something like, "Well, I wanted to be a veterinarian but I didn't have the... uh... scientific... capabilities. And I didn't have the stomach for it. Haha!"

    Maybe gen chem weeded her out too? ;) At least we can write famous children's stories if the whole vet thing falls through. :)
     
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  33. notamonotreme

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    I don't have any actual numbers or statistics, but I know far more pre-med students than pre-vet. I only know of one other pre-vet in my graduating class, but I have met several ex-pre-vets! I also know a handful of students who came in conflicted about human vs. vet med and chose human medicine either because it was easier or because they were more interested in humans.
     
  34. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013
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    This is utter anecdata here, but I've got o-chem reactions coming out my ears and need some contact with the outside world.

    We have a tiny pre-vet club at our school, but most of the pre-vet students I know aren't involved in it (I've joined them for one activity, but nothing else). Also, people I talk to tend to either be freshman pre-vets, or people who decided to come back to it later in life (either after a career, or switching to it quite late in their educational career).

    Then again, I go to a commuter-heavy state school, so there's probably a higher percentage of returning students period than at other schools.

    And I think it's both gen chem and orgo - Gen Chem tends to weed out those who just don't have the 'scientific capability', and o-chem tends to weed out those who don't have the problem-solving...(either to make those mechanism connections or to figure out HOW to study for the dang class) very different subjects, in my opinion.

    And also physics.

    Actually, at my school, physics is the one that I've heard more people cite for turning away from anything in the health field.
     
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  35. eventualeventer

    eventualeventer Medical Tire Fire
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    Wow, I thought physics was much easier than ochem! I'm not really involved with the prevet club or in the typical prevet classes -- most prevets here are animal science majors, I'm in biology -- so I mostly interact with the equestrian types. Most of them either didn't want the lifestyle of being a vet, esp. equine, or else decided that they could get paid to play with horses without having to go through all the school and deal with the gore/grossness/sadness.
     
  36. Groominator

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    I personally am having an equally hard time in physics 110 as i was having in orgo2 (heh which i'll be retaking, i hear its more fun the second time around ;) ). The concepts are simpler in physics but its still a formula science. I have a really hard time wrapping my head around formulas and manipulating them and whatever. i find factual sciences like Bio infinitely easier to deal with.
     
  37. Trilt

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    That makes me happy, being a pre-vet who just got her A- in the first semester of Gen Chem back today. :D
     
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  38. LucyLoo

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    Nice!!:thumbup:
     
  39. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    Thanks for all the interesting replies! I figured the attrition rate was pretty high, but it's cool to put some numbers to it. I'm surprised that Gen Chem is such a fall out. I went to a very pre-med heavy undergrad and it always seemed to be O-chem that got most people. (Gen chem got a few too though.)
     
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  40. LadyHitokiri

    LadyHitokiri UIUC CVM Class of 2013!
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    I used to think Orgo 1 and 2 were hard but interesting. Now that I'm in Physics, I REALLY miss being in Orgo. Physics is just not my thing...I get decent grades, but obviously could do better. Last semester when I took Physics 101, I had a good grade going into the final but was totally swamped during finals week and completely bombed the final exam. My grade dropped a whole letter grade! :O BUT that's not gonna happen this year...I have a week to study for my Physics 102 final and hopefully won't let this 30%-of-my-grade final ruin my grade!
     
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  41. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    I admit, if I didn't want to be a veterinarian as much as I do, OChem would have done it for me...but I stuck it out! Even though I struggled and despised that class more than any other, I would go throught it again and again if that's what I had to do to be a vet! :)
     
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  42. gone2dogs

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    This thread got me curious... I went to a "top tier" small liberal arts college on the east coast... class size about 400. While I knew dozens of pre-meds, I couldn't think of a single pre-vet student. There was no pre-vet club (I don't think there was a pre-med club or advisor for that matter either), nor was I actually pre-vet at the time (I graduated 10+ years ago).

    Anyway, I went and searched our alumni directory and it indicated that all of one of my classmates has gone to vet school (class of 2008, so she was a non-trad too) and is now a vet, and she was an English major! I hung out almost exclusively with science majors (I was a chemistry/physics double major, but most of my friends were bio majors) so I honestly don't even remember her although the name rings a bell (the beauty of a small school). So I don't know about attrition, but apparently my school is not a vet factory!

    I don't mean this to be a hijack, but I was curious if it was common for the small colleges like mine to be so short on pre-vets. I guess thinking about it now, if I had known for sure that I wanted to be a vet 15 years ago I probably would have gone to a bigger university in a location more likely to have more opportunities than where I went.
     
  43. cozycleo

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    I admit I've had a tougher time than expected this first semester since I started my science pre-reqs. I haven't had chem and bio in a decade, so I'm trying to stick it out. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. I'm not doing that bad anyway.

    My pre-vet club started out with tons of freshman this year, but the last couple meetings have had significantly fewer attendees. I imagine a lot of the freshman will weed out by their senior year.
     
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  44. laurafinn

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    My class of 450 graduated lots of eventual MD's, JD's and PhD's, no vets. I'm glad I went to the liberal arts college that I did though. It was a great experience that I couldn't have replicated at a larger school. Sure, there wasn't the opportunity to do foal watch or work with a school cow herd, but I think you could find enough opportunities during breaks that you wouldn't be at a disadvantage when applying.
     
  45. winddolphin

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    Seeing how attrition rate is higher according to others' replies, I'd say the attrition rate also depends on which college you go to. I went to UCD, and about 90% of an sci freshmen said they were pre-vet. We have a huge pre-vet club, and UCD offers plenty other resources for pre-vet. When I became a senior, the professor of one of our an sci requirement classes polled us. About 73% or so of the class were still pre-vet.
    I am sure there are quite a few pre-vets in bio/avian sci/wildlife bio, etc but I don't know their attrition rates.
     
  46. nyanko

    nyanko total trash mammal
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    A lot of the people who aren't pre-vet anymore are probably not in that animal science requirement class. Sample bias. ;)
     
  47. EqSci

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    On the same note, it's difficult to judge attrition rates based on the number of pre-vet club freshman vs. seniors. I'm sure some pre-vet people stay pre-vet, but drop out of the club due to other reasons (harder classes, getting hours of experience, etc).
     
  48. ponio

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    Then there are the prevets who, like me, should in theory have been weeded out by pretty much every chem they ever took (...and some bio). Unfortunately, I am still prevet and will most likely be met with disappointment. Just too stubborn to give up, I suppose... Well, truthfully, its because I cannot see myself doing anything else. I'm pretty much just crossing my fingers that good recs and residency will get me into an interview, at which point my charm will do the rest :D.

    PS. This is my first post on SDN, EVER. Though I have been lurking for quite some time...
     
  49. stick91

    stick91 Oregon State CVM c/o 2013
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    Just based on my experience I'd say yes. Scripps is pretty tiny (around 250 students/class). I absolutely would not have changed where I went to school though, I loved the small liberal arts college experience. I still managed to find a local vet hospital with a Foal Team that I volunteered with. While it would have been nice to have a few more pre-vet sympathizers around I liked that in addition to science stuff my closest friends found their passions in politics, linguistics, history, etc.
     

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