From RVT to DVM: The alphabet soup of veterinary medicine

From RVT to DVM: The alphabet soup of veterinary medicine

Sep 01, 2006

Jessica Harris, RVT, describes herself as the quintessential veterinary person who knew she wanted to be a veterinarian since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. This March, she realized her dream of attending veterinary school with an acceptance letter to North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Do you dream of veterinary school, too? Consider her experience to bring your dream within reach:

Q: Tell us about how you prepared for veterinary school.

A: I didn't take the conventional route. After a year of college at North Carolina State, I realized I didn't enjoy being in a lecture hall with 400 other people. So during the spring of my first year I started looking at other options. I stumbled across the Central Carolina Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program. I graduated in 2001, all of the time working in a general practice and paying for school out of pocket. For the last five years, I've worked at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas in Cary, N.C., and taken classes to fulfill the prerequisites required for veterinary school.

Q: Did your veterinary technology degree give you an advantage when you applied?

A: Being a registered veterinary technician didn't set me apart from people who have earned an associate's degree in English or literature. What the admissions officers want to see is that you committed to a program and you completed it.

Q: What advice do you have for team members who are interested in veterinary school?

A: Work hard, gather as much information as you can from the school, and stay focused. Don't let anything deter you from your goal.

It's also a good idea to think about how to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. For example, I branched out of small animal medicine and volunteered at a sea turtle hospital and at a swine production facility to develop a wider range of experience.

Q: What's a good first step?

A: Start looking at schools you'd like to attend and find out their requirements. Talk to people at those schools and in the admissions offices and make yourself marketable to them. They want you to succeed. The more you talk to them, the more you'll find out and the more you can gear yourself to what they're looking for.