Many veterinary schools outside North America use the title "Faculty of Veterinary Science" instead of "College of Veterinary Medicine" or "School of Veterinary Medicine", and some veterinary schools in China, Japan and South Korea (such as the DVM degree-awarding Department of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry at Guangxi University in China and the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology use the term "Department".) Veterinary schools are distinct from departments of animal science offering a pre-veterinary curriculum, teaching the biomedical sciences (and awarding a Bachelor of Science degree or the equivalent), and providing graduate veterinary education in disciplines such as microbiology, virology, and molecular biology.
Aspiring veterinarians can earn several types of degrees, differing by country and involving undergraduate or graduate education. In the United States, schools award the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM). This degree is also awarded in Bangladesh, Canada, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Tobago and Trinidad. Other countries offer a degree equivalent to the North American DVM. In the United Kingdom and countries which have adopted the undergraduate system of higher education, a bachelor's degree is equivalent to a DVM (after five or six years of study). In the US, a four-year DVM degree such as Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine or Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery follows a four-year undergraduate degree (eight years of study after high school). In Ireland, the Veterinary Medicine Programme at the University College Dublin awards the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB). At the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, the degree awarded is the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery (BVMS). Some veterinary schools offer a degree enabling the recipient to practice veterinary medicine in their home country but does not permit the individual to take a licensing examination abroad; for example, veterinary schools in Afghanistan offer only the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Although Ethiopia awards a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, it is not recognized in the US or Western Europe.
About 50 percent of veterinarians own their own business when they graduate from school. Nearly every country requires an individual with a veterinary degree to be licensed before practicing. Most countries require a non-national with a veterinary degree to pass a separate licensure exam for foreign graduates before practicing. In the US, the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) administers a four-step examination recognized by all American state and territorial veterinary licensing boards, the US federal government, and the District of Columbia. The European Parliament issued a September 30, 2005 directive providing EU-wide standards for veterinary medical education and the recognition of veterinary degrees from member states.
Licensure requirements are diverse. In South Africa, the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act, Act 19 of 1982 provides for automatic licensure if an individual has graduated from one of several universities in South Africa, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom (including the University of Pretoria, Medical University of South Africa, Massey University, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Liverpool, and the University of London as of 2008) or has passed the licensure examination administered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. All others must pass an examination and register with the South African Veterinary Council. India has a similar system, in which degrees awarded by certain schools are "deemed" to qualify an individual to practice veterinary medicine, but has forgone an exam in favor of state tribunals which investigate credentials and control a registry of licensed practitioners.
All developed countries and most newly industrialized and developing countries accredit veterinary schools. Those in the US are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) The EU is developing an accreditation standard, with accreditation usually provided by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) as of 2008.
Accreditation systems vary widely in developing nations. In Mexico El Consejo Nacional de Educación de la Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia (CONEVET) accredits veterinary medical colleges, although few schools are accredited. The accreditation system is poor (or nonexistent) in other developing nations; Ethiopia has focused on building veterinary medical colleges rather than accrediting existing schools. With almost no accreditation system, the country's veterinary education is poor.
Admissions and costs
Admissions practices, requirements and difficulty vary widely among veterinary schools and by country. Admission is generally competitive, due to the small number of places available. Most AVMA-accredited institutions in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States share an online application system, known as the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). Many VMCAS colleges also have additional, individualized application requirements, and admissions standards are high.
Admissions standards in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa also vary widely, with many veterinary schools limiting admission to students from their area, state or country. Twenty-five of the 28 veterinary schools in the US are public universities and, by law, may reserve few places for out-of-state residents. Other countries have similar schemes. In India, federal law requires each veterinary college to reserve 15 percent of its places for students from other parts of India. The Veterinary Council of India (a body of the federal government) conducts the All India Common Entrance Examination, and the top scorers are placed throughout the country.
The cost of attending veterinary school also varies widely. The value of the national currency, the cost of veterinary school relative to the cost of living (or median national income), and government education subsidies and other financial aid influence its cost. In countries where a veterinary degree is a professional degree taken as a second degree, governments may not subsidize veterinary-school students as much as undergraduate students.
Veterinary school curricula are not standardized, with programs lasting from three to six years. In the United States and Canada the program is generally four years long, usually after a four-year pre-vet undergraduate degree). For the first three years, students learn anatomy, physiology, histology, neuroanatomy, pharmacology, immunology, bacteriology, virology, pathology, parasitology, toxicology, herd health (also called population health), nutrition, radiography, and epidemiology. During the third year, students learn anesthesiology, diagnostics, surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and dentistry. For the fourth year, often 12 months long instead of nine, students care for a wide range of animals. Clinical education is a focus of most veterinary school curricula worldwide. In 2005, for the first time in its 104-year-history, the Veterinary Medicine Programme at University College Dublin instituted a lecture-free final year focusing on clinical training. The Institute of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Zurich has implemented a curriculum for teaching pathology with an extensive clinical component. Veterinary schools in Israel, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia also emphasize clinical training.
However, clinical training is limited in some schools and countries; in Japan, students do not receive clinical education until they have studied for six years. In Sri Lanka, until recently there were few companion animals; veterinary education focused on herd health, with little attention to clinical skills. In Ethiopia few schools have clinical training facilities, and the government has prioritized opening more schools over improving existing colleges. There is concern in the United States that clinical training may suffer because many veterinary teaching hospitals are in financial trouble.
Most veterinary schools do not allow students to engage in "species specialization", and students must be able to treat a broad range of species. However, most veterinary programs allow students to take elective courses which will enable them to specialize at graduation. Veterinary schools in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States engage in "tracking", and students are asked which branch of veterinary medicine they intend to practice (such as companion-animal, bovine, equine, food-supply, avian, wildlife, and public-health). Although tracking is controversial, about 60 percent of US and Canadian veterinary schools engage in full or partial tracking of students and there are calls for full tracking by some North American veterinary-medical-education organizations. It is argued that enhanced tracking should be linked to "limited licensure" of veterinarians to practice only in the species (or specialty) in which they were trained. Although very few veterinary schools require students to enroll in an internship or residency upon graduation, internships and residencies are often required for veterinarians seeking board certification in Canada, Europe and the US.
Lectures and rote learning are two of the most common teaching methods in veterinary education. To a lesser degree, outcome-based education discovery learning, and inquiry-based learning are also used. Problem-based learning has been adopted in most veterinary schools in developed countries, particularly Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and Western Europe.
- List of schools of veterinary medicine
- Veterinary Medical College Application Service
- First professional degree
- Veterinary medicine
- "AVMA-Listed Veterinary Colleges of the World." Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates/American Veterinary Medical Association. June 5, 2008. Accessed December 4, 2012.
- The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania awards the Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris (VMD) degree, which is the same as the D.V.M. degree. See: "Education and Training." University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. 2008. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- "Universities, Institutions, Colleges and Schools Awarding Veterinary Degrees." Vets-Net.com. September 15, 2007. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- "Veterinary Medicine." UCD Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine Programme Office. No date. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- Pettigrew, G. "The BVM and S at the University of Edinburgh." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Fall 2003.
- Mayen, Friederike. "A Status Report of Veterinary Education in Ethiopia: Perceived Needs, Past History, Recent Changes, and Current and Future Concerns." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates. AVMA.org. 2008. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- "Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications (Text with EEA relevance)." Official Journal. L 255, September 30, 2005. Accessed July 26, 2008; for a list of national licensing bodies in EU member states, see: "Competent Authorities and Information Centres in the European Union (Articles 2, 3 and 14.1 of Directive 78/1026/EEC; Article 1 of Directive 75/1027/EEC; Article 56.3 of Directive 2005/36/EC) - VETERINARY SURGEONS." Federation of Veterinarians of Europe. March 18, 2008. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- "Automatic registration: Registration with the South African Veterinary Council." South African Veterinary Council. No date. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- "IVC Act: IVC Acts & Rules." Veterinary Council of India. No date. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- Simmons, Don. "Developing an Accreditation System." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2004.
- AVMA Center for Veterinary Education Accreditation. AVMA.org. The AVMA COE has accredited veterinary schools overseas, and as of July 2008 had accredited veterinary schools in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
- Krehbiel, Jan. "The AVMA COE Accreditation Site Visit." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2004; Simmons, Don and American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (COE) Accreditation. "The American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (COE) Accreditation." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2004; Barzansky, Barbara. "Comparison of Accreditation Practices and Standards of US Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2004.
- Halliwell, R.E. "Accreditation of Veterinary Schools in the United Kingdom and the European Union: The Process, Current Issues and Trends, and Future Concerns." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2004.
- Fernandes, Tito. "The Role of Vet2020 Project on Quality of European Veterinary Education." Journal Veterinary Research Communications. August 2004; Veterinary Education and Free Movement of Veterinary Surgeons in Europe: Towards an Accreditation System." Federation of Veterinarians of Europe. November 2000. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education Web site.
- Berruecos, J.M.; Trigo, Francisco J.; and Zarco, Luis A. "The Accreditation System for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in Mexico and a Comparison with the AVMA System." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2004.
- Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements. Indianapolis, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 2008. ISBN 1-55753-499-3
- Kogan, L.R. and McConnell, S.L. "Gaining Acceptance Into Veterinary School: A Review of Medical and Veterinary Admissions Policies." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Winter 2001; Haynes, Emily N. "Your Path to Success: Advice to People Considering a Career in Health Sciences." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2007.
- "All India Common Entrance Examination (AICEE)." Veterinary Council of India. No date. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- Turnwald, Grant H.; Sponenberg, D. Phillip ; and Meldrum, J. Blair. "Part II: Directions and Objectives of Curriculum Structure at Veterinary Medical and Other Health Professions Schools." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2008; Fuentealba, Carmen; Mason, Robert V.; and Johnston, Shirley D. "Community-Based Clinical Veterinary Education at Western University of Health Sciences." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2008; Lloyd, James W.; Fingland, Roger; Arighi, Mimi; Thompson, James; de Laforcade, Armelle; and McManus, Joseph. "Satellite Teaching Hospitals and Public–Private Collaborations in Veterinary Medical Clinical Education." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2008; Cornell, Karen K. "Faculty Expectations of Veterinary Students in Clinical Rotations." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2008.
- Doherty, Michael L. and Jones, Boyd R. "Undergraduate Veterinary Education at University College Dublin: A Time of Change." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- Pospischil, Andreas; Djamei, Vahid; Rütten, Maja; Sydler, Titus; and Vaughan, Lloyd. "Introduction to the Swiss Way of Teaching Veterinary Pathology in the Twenty-First Century: Application of e-Learning Modules." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Fall 2007.
- Shahar, Ron and Bark, Hylton. "Veterinary Education in Israel." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- González-Soriano, Juncal. "The Present and Future of Veterinary Education in Spain." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- Veerek, Vladimír. "Two Differentiated Programs of Veterinary Medical Education at the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Czech Republic." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- Cabadaj, Rudolph; Pilipcinec, Emil; and Bajová, Viera. "The Curricula of Veterinary Study at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Koice in the Slovak Republic." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- Stutsman, Beth. "Veterinary Student Exchange Program Broadens Horizons." West Lafayette Journal and Courier. August 13, 2005.
- Obeyesekere, N. "Needs, Difficulties, and Possible Approaches to Providing Quality Clinical Veterinary Education With the Aim of Improving Standards of Companion Animal Medicine in Sri Lanka." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2004.
- Whitcomb, Rachel. "Colleges in Crisis: Economy, Changing profession Hurt Teaching." DVM Newsmagazine. July 1, 2008.
- Karg, Michael. "Designated Licensure—The Case for Speciation Within the Veterinary Degree." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. December 15, 2000.
- Center for Emerging Issues. Committee for the Future of Veterinary Services. Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. United States Department of Agriculture. "Veterinary Medicine." in Current Trends and Uncertainties for the Future of Agriculture. Washington, D.C.: USDA/Center for Emerging Issues, 2002.
- Willis, Norman G.; Monroe, Fonda A.; Potworowski, J. Andre; Halbert, Gary; Evans, Brian R.; Smith, John E.; Andrews, Kenneth J.; Spring, Lynelle; and Bradbrook, Andrea. "Envisioning the Future of Veterinary Medical Education: The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Foresight Project, Final Report." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Special Issue. January 2007. Accessed July 26, 2008.
- Tyler, Jeff W. "Assessing Veterinary Medical Education With Regard to the Attraction, Admission, and Education of Students Interested in Food Supply Veterinary Medicine and Retention of Student Interest in a Career in the Food Supply Sector." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. September 15, 2006; Karg, Michael. "The Need for a Food Supply–Exclusive College of Veterinary Medicine." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. February 1, 2007; Radostits, Otto M. "Engineering Veterinary Education: A Clarion Call for Reform in Veterinary Education--Let's Do It!" Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2003; Hooper, Billy E. "Ongoing Curricular Change in Veterinary Medical Colleges." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Fall 1994; Lavictoire, Suzanne. "Education, Licensing, and the Expanding Scope of Veterinary Practice: Members Express Their Views." Canadian Veterinary Journal. April 2003; Prescott, John F.; Bailey, Jeremy; Hagele, W. Curt; Leung, Dominic; Lofstedt, Jeanne; Radostits, Otto M.; and Sandals, David. "CVMA Task Force on 'Education, Licensing, and the Expanding Scope of Veterinary Practice.'" Canadian Veterinary Journal. November 2002.
- Shadduck, John A. "Challenges Facing Veterinary Medical Education and Some Strategies for the Future." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Fall 1994; Fiala, Jennifer. "Limited Licensure Ignites Debate: National Organizations, Regulators Explore Options." DVM Newsmagazine. April 1, 2008; McLaughlin, Michael A. "Commentary on Limited Licensure: Has Its Day Finally Arrived?" DVM Newsmagazine. July 1, 2008; Fiala, Jennifer. "Future Veterinarians: A 25-Year Look Ahead." DVM Newsmagazine. April 1, 2007.
- Lloyd, K.C. Kent. "The Scientific Component of Residency Training." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2008; Lumeij, Johannes T. and Herrtage, Michael E. "Veterinary Specialization in Europe." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2006.
- Edmondson, Katherine M. "Applying What We Know About Learning to Veterinary Education." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2001; Moore, Dale A.; Leamon, M.H.; Cox, P.D.; and Servis, M.E. "Teaching Implications of Different Educational Theories and Approaches." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Summer 2002.
- Trent, A.M. "Outcomes Assessment Planning: An Overview With Applications in Health Sciences." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2002; Black, L.S.; Turnwald, Grant H.; and Meldrum, J.B. "Outcomes Assessment in Veterinary Medical Education." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2002; Kleine, L.J.; Terkla, D.G.; and Kimball, G. "Outcomes Assessment at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2002; Walsh, Donal A.; Osburn, Bennie I.; and Schumacher, R.L. "Defining the Attributes Expected of Graduating Veterinary Medical Students, Part 2: External Evaluation and Outcomes Assessment." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 2002.
- Powell, V. and Steel, C.H. "Search for the Woolly Mammoth: A Case Study in Inquiry-Based Learning." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Fall 2003.
- Howell, N.E.; Lane, India F.; Brace, James J.; and Shull, R.M. "Integration of Problem-Based Learning in a Veterinary Medical Curriculum: First-Year Experiences with Application-Based Learning Exercises at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Fall 2002; Pickrell, John A. Enhancing Large-Group Problem-Based Learning in Veterinary Medical Education. Washington, D.C.: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, August 31, 1997 (accessed July 26, 2008); Piekunka, Joseph M. "Cornell's DVM Program Is Problem-Based Learning." Admissions Newsletter. March 1999 (accessed July 26, 2008); Rand, J.S. and Baglioni, Jr., A.J. "Subject-Based Problem-Based Learning in the Veterinary Science Course at the University of Queensland." Australian Veterinary Journal. February 1997; Rivarola V.A. and Garca M.B. "Problem-Based Learning in Veterinary Medicine: Protein Metabolism." Biochemical Education. January 2000; Klemm, W.R. "Using a Formal Collaborative Learning Paradigm for Veterinary Medical Education." Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Spring 1994.