Veterinary Doctor Career Information
What a Veterinary Doctor does
A veterinary doctor is a doctor who not only diagnoses and controls animal diseases, but also prescribes medical or surgical treatment for diseases in animals. Veterinary doctors prevent transmission of disease and advise on pet care and farm animals.
A veterinary doctor not only deals with household pets but also works for the care, sustenance and breeding of animals in the agricultural sector.
As a veterinary doctor, your job will involve investigation, diagnosis and treatment of injuries and ailments in animals. If you choose research, you will work in laboratories on subjects such as Pathology, Bacteriology, Genetics, Physiology, Anatomy, etc. You will also conduct innovative research on biological products, food, and pharmaceuticals and also work in animal genetics and breeding.
Animal Genetics is an interesting topic of research which deals with problems concerning the evolution of new breeds, rearing of livestock, genetically controlling diseases, artificial insemination, sterilization, etc. As a veterinary doctor, you will also study inherent traits of animals and conduct analytical studies for tracing the genesis of these in environment, food, colour, growth, maturity, sterility, disease, etc.
Conducting experiments to come up with improved breed of animals that have better resistance to diseases, higher yield in products such as milk, meat, eggs, even silk, wool, etc. is the job of a Veterinarian.
Veterinary scientists work both in the rural and urban setting. Dairy farms, stud farms, poultry farms, and agriculturists employ veterinary scientists to care for the animals.
Veterinarians work in the agricultural sector in rural areas, in government animal husbandry departments, poultry and dairy farms, private and government veterinary hospitals and clinics. Veterinary scientists also work with the government, the Armed Forces and the Border Security Forces for the care of the mounted regiments.
With the trend of keeping pets at home Veterinarians are much in demand in the urban areas. Private practices flourish in these areas. Vets are also employed in colleges for teaching purposes.
Other areas of functioning include vaccination of animals, providing information on nutrition and health, scientific breeding using methods like in-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, experiments on animals in order to control diseases spread by them, research involving animals for various purposes like vaccine production, animals genetics and so on.
For those who love animals this is the best career choice. The scope for veterinarians is a swell. Your area of work will not be restricted to zoos, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Various organisations employ veterinarians in their research and development departments. Postgraduates in the field of veterinary science can go in for research.
Abilities & Traits Required
It goes without saying that you got to have a love for animals of all kinds (and not just your cute Dalmatian). Good communication skills come next. No, you won't have to talk to the pets as did Dr Dolittle, but gift of the gab will be resourceful when dealing with pet owners.
"A vet's job does not end with just treating the animal. It also involves talking to the pet owners about their pet, the treatment and the follows ups. And this has to be skillful talking as you are constantly dealing with over sentimental owners," says Dr. Nehete, Senior Professor, Parel Veterinary College.
Patience is a virtue as you are dealing with mute animals here. So a veterinarian needs to be extra sensitive, patient and perceptive. You got to be physically strong with good stamina and quick reflexes as your job will involve dealing with animals of all sizes. You should be quick to gauge the animal's mood. Willingness to work in uncomfortable surroundings is a must.
If anything, a veterinarian's job is more difficult than that of a doctor dealing with humans. This is because a veterinarian's patients cannot communicate verbally. After all Dr. Dolittle happen only in fiction!
As for the educational qualifications the base as in all fields of medicine is a 10+2 (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). You can choose a graduate or postgraduate course in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry.
The graduate course known as B.V.Sc is of four years duration followed by one-year of practical internship. You can go for a Masters course M.V.Sc after this. You can specialize in Animal Anatomy, Animal Biotechnology, Animal Husbandry, Animal Economics, Animal Husbandry Extension, Animal Reproduction, Livestock Extension, Animal Genetics and Breeding, Dairy Science and Technology, Dairy Chemistry, Dairy Engineering, Dairy Microbiology, Food Hygiene, Feed and Fodder Technology, Meat Science and Technology, Animal Nutrition, Poultry Science and Technology, Piggery, Preventive Medicine, Toxicology, etc.
Note: After B.V.Sc. students can also appear for Biotechnology entrance test for a future in this branch.
Selection Procedure: The Veterinary Council of India, Karol Bagh, New Delhi - 110005 conducts an All India Common Entrance Examination for admission to 15 per cent seats in each veterinary college for B.V.Sc. or AH (Animal Husbandry). A minimum of 50 per cent aggregate marks in PCB and English is required in the qualifying examination for taking the test.
The Indian Council for Agricultural Research, Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan, Pusa, New Delhi - 110012 conducts an All India Entrance examination for filling up 15 per cent of the total seats in State Agricultural universities and 100 per cent seats in National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal and Central Agriculture University, Imphal in several subjects related to this field including Veterinary science.
If you are into private practice, the money will actually depend on your area of practice. On an average a vet charges Rs 500-600 per visit (excluding the cost of medicines). And for a home visit it shoots up to Rs 1000-1500. They generally work in two shifts - mornings and evenings. So that's a lot of money. On an average a veterinarian can earn in the range of Rs 40000-50000 per month.