A veterinarian often shortened to Vet, is a physician for animals. Veterinary means concerned with diseases of animals. Veterinary Education is the study of veterinary science and its application in professional practice. A veterinarian or a doctor of animals' primary responsibility is to look after the health and welfare of the animals. They diagnose the disease; work to prevent and control animal diseases; treat sick and injured animals; prevent the transmission of the animal diseases to people and advise owners on how can they take proper care of their pets. Approach in treatment can also vary according to different animals.
The subject broadly covers the study of animal physiology, treatment and prevention of diseases among animals. The basic principles of this specialized branch of study are quite similar to that of human medical sciences. Veterinary doctors deal with the treatment, care and handling of domestic pets, livestock, animals in the zoo, laboratory to name a few.
The most important prerequisite to enter this field is that one must have compassion for animals, one must realize that animals are as important as humans and not consider them lesser than humans. To be a good vet, you need to be intelligent enough to apply all you have learnt in vet school in a clinical setting.
To practice as a veterinarian, it is essential to have a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.). To be eligible for the Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry (B.V.Sc and AH) course, a candidate should have passed the class 12 examination with science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Candidates are selected for this five years B.V.Sc and A.H. course on the basis of entrance test held as per VCI (Veterinary Council of India) recommendation by State Veterinary/Agriculture University at State level and by ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research) at National level.
To become a veterinarian, one must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree from an accredited college of veterinary medicine. Although many schools admit applicants who don't have a bachelor's degree, having one will increase your odds of getting accepted. There is keen competition for entry into this four year program.
Veterinary science offers a large number of avenues of work and the demand for veterinary doctors has increased tremendously. Veterinarians can choose to work with the government animal husbandry departments, poultry farms, dairy farms, sheep and rabbit farms, race clubs, stud farms, private and government veterinary hospitals and clinics, private practice is another option they can consider. After a student graduates as a vet, he/she can opt for a Post Graduation or Ph.D. in specialized areas like surgery, andrology or medicine. Other than these, a vet can also join dairy and poultry farms as a doctor or can work in pharmaceutical company.
Teaching is another option as experienced professionals are recruited in various institutions to train the new entrants to the field. Besides regular practice, vets can also take up research work, either on their own or in association with the government such as ICAR (Indian council for Agricultural Research).
They can also work in technical sales, agribusiness, marketing, pet food manufacturing industries and in management of industries dealing with animal feed, animal products and milk and meat products processing industries. The scope for a veterinarian is good provided one works hard. In addition to helping sick animals, vets can work as animal inspectors; another option for vets is to pursue scientific research. Most Vets work in clinics, poultry and dairy farms.
Note: This information is being summarised from the information provided by institutes offering those courses.