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So, you want to be a veterinarian?

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So, you want to be a veterinarian?

Photo by VCA Animal Hospital in Berywn IL.

Photo by VCA Animal Hospital in Berywn IL.

Photo by VCA Animal Hospital in Berywn IL.

Photo by VCA Animal Hospital in Berywn IL.

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A veterinarian is a person qualified to treat diseased or injured animals. Some general task include performing surgeries, diagnosing illnesses, and vaccinating animals. You’ve might have seen an animal hospital on Cermak and 5oth ave in Cicero called ‘Janda Veterinary Hospital’ or the one on Harlem in Berywn called ‘VCA Berwyn Animal Hosptial’.

WHO can do this? Someone who has a tuned sensitivity towards animals. Also, someone who has the ability to be observant and think clearly under pressure.

WHAT does it take? Its all about being prepared as soon as you can. In high school, take all the mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics courses which are available to you in middle and high school; they will open up many career opportunities in college including veterinary medicine. Veterinarians must hold a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college before moving on to veterinary medicine school. Maintain a competitive GPA, preferably 3.5 or higher. Most veterinary schools examine courses taken in the last 3-4 semesters closely.

WHERE can you get it? Fox college, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Triton College, UIC,  and College of Dupage.

WHEN can i do it? After completing two-four years of the veterinary program you receive the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

WHY? There is benefits like saving, helping, and working closely with animals in need.

HOW much will you make? Veterinarians earn a median salary of about $88,770 per year. Salaries typically start from $52,470 and go up to $161,070.

There are 5 schools in the area that offer pre-veterinary medicine, The least expensive tuition is at Trition for $2296.35. This is the most affordable tuition compared to other colleges/universities. UIC’s tuition is $14,816. U of I at Urbana-Champaign is $27,176. Dupage is $18546. Fox college is $16,888. Lastly Saint Xavier is $44,706.  You can start at a community college and do basic classes and also take a pre-veterinary course.


Jenny Hewett is one of the Veterinarians working at VCA Animal Hospital in Berywn, IL.

1. Tell me about your job. Is what you do any different in any way from what others in your occupation do?

I own and manage a private practice. Thus, in addition to caring for the animals, I am responsible for hiring, firing, and supervising the staff, and for keeping track of the practice’s finances. In my day-to-day work, I try to emphasize both patient care and client education.

2. Can you tell me about your background and how you got into this field?

I have always loved animals and I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. During my summers in high school and college, I took on jobs at veterinary clinics and visited many farms. These experiences proved to be valuable preparation for my career and strengthened my desire to be a veterinarian.

Before earning my degree in veterinary medicine, I studied math and science at another college. The academics were certainly tough, but I have always found that “where there’s a will, there’s a way

3. What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in your job?

First and foremost, veterinarians must have a finely tuned sensitivity towards animals. The ability to be observant and think clearly under pressure is also important, as split-second surgical decisions may be required.
Because long hours, as well as night and weekend work, are common, veterinarians must have the capacity to work hard. And finally, veterinarians have to be able to work well with people. Clients and staff often require more attention than the animals themselves.

4. What other jobs could you do with the skills you have gained?

A successful practice owner may choose to concentrate on management instead of working with animals personally. Other veterinarians have gone into retail, opening stores that sell pet food and other pet-related products.

5. What are your biggest challenges in your job?

The biggest challenge that I face as a veterinarian is diagnosing conditions for the pets of clients who have limited financial resources. These clients often cannot afford the level of care that their pets need to get well

6. Are there many opportunities in your field? What should people do to get started?

Right now, the profession is enjoying steady growth. Even though there are already a lot of practicing vets out there, there are some opportunities. If you are willing to work hard on the job and in school, the opportunities should present themselves.

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The student news site of Morton East High School
So, you want to be a veterinarian?