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Question -- Hours?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by abr, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. abr

    abr
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    How many hours of experience should you have by the time you go to veterinary school?
    Do they need to be hours shadowing, or can they be hours working with animals?

    I have MANY hours working with equines/horses, so I was going to try to vary my experience. This summer, I will be training and showing my horses, and possibly those owned by others, but I am also considering working at a small animal clinic. It is a large clinic, and I have been offered a position there. It would include taking care of the animals -- walking dogs, etc. In addition, I am going to get some hours watching various surgeries.

    Will these hours look good on an application? I know they like applicants to have experience with more than one species.
    Is it okay if I have more hours working with the animals than actual job shadowing? How many job shadowing hours should I have?

    My advisor is not very helpful when it comes to this subject.. They do not allow you to switch advisors, and unfortunately, my advisor is not a pre-vet advisor.

    *** I have a few more questions..

    1) How far back should you record hours? (I do not know how to phrase this).. i.e. Can you use hours that you received in high school?
    I did a lot of volunteer work at a rescue in my early high school years (then I moved, and did not have that opportunity).

    2) I was looking at someone's application today, and they included EVERY vet visit their vet made to their house.. Do those hours count? I mean, seriously, I have had some bad luck in the past, resulting in many vet visits.. So, I have several hours from those experiences..
     
  2. ri23

    ri23 OSU CVM Class of 2011
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    You should definitely take the position at the clinic, as those will count as Veterinary experience hours, as opposed to animal hours. Also, the connections you make working for vets is great for recommendations. Your hours working with horses will definitely be a positive, its just also necessary to get in the vet hours.
     
  3. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    That you have more "animal experience" than "veterinary experience" is not a problem, so long as you have *enough* "veterinary experience." The goal is to prove to adcoms (and yourself!) that you know what you're getting into and have explored various options in vet med.

    Most schools publish stats on how much veterinary experience the average applicant has - this includes only time in activities that VMCAS counts as "veterinary" (shadowing, research, tech-ing if it involves things like doing diagnostics and giving treatments) and would therefore *not* count things like showing and training your horses or walking dogs at a clinic. That average will be skewed by the people who have been doing research or working as a tech for years and therefore have thousands of hours, and you will hear from people on this forum who got accepted with a fairly small number of hours. Quality is in general better than quantity here (see the goal above). However, as a general guideline, striving for something near the average would be a good start.

    Taking the clinic job to get small animal experience is good. You should try, without being annoying or pestering of course, to tell everyone that you're looking to get into vet school and could they please teach you stuff and maybe let you do some treatments and things so that it counts as "veterinary" experience. Also, if you show and train horses then you probably have an equine vet you already know and trust - next time you see her/him you could ask if you could do a little shadowing, so you'll have vet experience with both large and small animals...
     
  4. OP
    OP
    abr

    abr
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    Thank you for the replies!
    I have done some shadowing, but not too much.
    I have followed my equine vet, but it is hard because I have to follow in my car because of "liability" reasons.
    I hope I can get enough shadowing hours...
    :scared:
    How many hours of shadowing does the average applicant have?
     
  5. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011
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    I had quite a few hours working at a small animal vet --I started in high school and have continued on breaks so it's been six years. But I also shadowed vets in various fields--behavior ( 100 hours three days a week for a month), alternative therapies ( one week), and large animal ( three days a week for five weeks), volunteered at a zoo as keeper aide not in hospital 250 hours over six weeks ( 40 hr weeks). And all of those activities counted even if I wasn't actually doing anything but observing, cleaning, and carrying stuff around! I don't think you need as much variety as I had I was just trying to figure out what I was interested in.

    Good luck--and keep track of your hours and dates as you go its much easier than trying to figure it out later when filling out applications!
     
  6. egghead115

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    Another good source of info for pre-vets is to look under career web pages at other schools. Search for pre-vet clubs at universities known for their strengths in the biological sciences. I know UC Berkeley and Stanford University have excellent pages with lots of info.
     
  7. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011
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    i had my post-mortem with CSU and the guy said successful applicants range 1000-1500 hours of VET experience...but this is counted as shadowing, teching, etc
     
  8. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    This isn't necessarily the way you want to think about it. I had about 60 hours of shadowing when I applied. Why was my app not immediately tossed in the trash? Because I also had a couple thousand hours' worth of vet experience through research. I shadowed in a private practice just because private practice is what the vast majority of vets actually do. The only point was to reinforce to myself that this was not where I wanted to go with my career, and to convince an adcom that I had seen that side of the profession and was making an honest effort to gain experience.

    There are other people who get in with the majority of their vet experience being shadowing rather than hands-on (tech or research).

    So anyway, my point was that if you have opportunities to shadow, do it. If you have opportunities to get hands-on vet experience, do that too. Your total number of vet hours and a good variety of quality experiences are more important than exactly how many hours you have of either type.
     
  9. TurboVet

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    in terms of the number of hours your "should" have- i'm sure it ranges from school to school. you can check different schools' websites applicant stats to see if they post them. i know cornell does. also i think it might be available in the "guide to vet med colleges" that comes out every year. again, some publish it some don't.

    i tried to fill in any blanks i had in my experience. i never shadowed, i always worked where i was gaining the experience, except if it was through a classroom project. i have a couple years FT of research, a few years of PT small animal clinic, i grew up raising labradors, and i volunteered for the farrowing seasons and lambing seasons at my school, plus various other things. i worked with both large (but not equine) and small ans. in research as a vet tech/specialist.

    as was mentioned before, they just want to make sure you know what you're getting into, can stand the hours, the gore, the stress, the amount of information and still enjoy it- before you get into it. If you're planning to do equine, i'm sure you're in good shape, but you will also be studying small animal and others during school and need familiarity with that as well.
     
  10. texlaevis

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    Just to emphasize what other people have already said with an example-- my application was relatively successful this year even though I only have about 100 hours of clinical experience with a mixed practice vet (eeek and that experience was about 4-5 years ago now!). This was balanced out by lots of horse/lab frog/research/animal shelter volunteer experience (the "animal" vs. "vet" experience thing). If you end up going this route, with an emphasis on the ANIMAL and not the VET, just be prepared for the inevitable "Do you think your lack of clinical experience will be a problem?" question during interviews.

    But yeah-- some schools seemed to be very enthusiastic about my app and others were like "you want to do what?! no way we'll touch you with a ten foot pole" so if you want to cover all your bases I might suggest getting more clinical hours.
     
  11. OP
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    abr

    abr
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    I added a couple of questions to my original post. All comments appreciated!
    :)
     
  12. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011
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    1. I'd definitely include those hours from HS

    2. Not so sure about that...I wouldn't, but someone else may say do it. Sometimes vet experience sections will include some disclaimer about "this does not include personal trips to/by vet"
     
  13. ShelterGirl

    ShelterGirl UC Davis SVM 2012
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    #1. Definitely include your high school hours.

    #2. I wouldn't recommend including vet visits as experience. However, if you ended up giving extensive treatments to your pets (fluids, medications, etc.) as a result of those visits, you can count those as animal experience hours. I sure did :)
     

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