Prospective veterinarians, including high school students or undergrads on a pre-professional veterinary track, should make a point of attending the 2017 Veterinary Medical Career Fair. Sponsored by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the fair is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, from 2:30 to 5 p.m., at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, in downtown Washington, D.C.
This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet veterinary medical school admissions officials, get advice on applying to veterinary school, and learn about various veterinary medical careers. It’s one of very few college fairs in the country targeted to students interested in pursuing careers in veterinary medicine, and families travel long distances to attend.
Already gathered for an annual conference, representatives from national and international colleges of veterinary medicine will be on hand to walk students through the application process while explaining the kinds of credentials necessary to attend any of the AAVMC member institutions.
For example, prospective veterinarians may be surprised to learn that some veterinary medical schools are interested in time spent in animal care related activities as early as high school. In fact, students considering veterinary careers are well advised to start keeping track of their volunteer hours in activities related to animals or animal care throughout all four years of high school.
And we’re not just talking about cats and dogs!
“This year’s event will feature a session on equine medicine because we know many students have visions of doing this type of work,” explained Dr. Lisa Greenhill, AAVMC senior director for institutional research and diversity. “We will also have a group of veterinary students talking about their experiences in vet school; it’s a session students won’t want to miss.”
By the way, US News lists veterinary medicine among the 100 “best” jobs of 2017, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the employment of veterinarians to grow nine percent through 2024, faster than average for all occupations.
And for high school students thinking ahead, the choice of undergraduate school could possibly fast track acceptance to veterinary medical colleges as opportunities exist for early admission to DVM programs by bypassing completion of the BS. For students committed to the field, this could mean significant savings in terms of time and money!
This year’s AAVMC event will offer four information sessions in addition to the career fair:
- 3:00 p.m.: Applying to Veterinary School (for all attendees)
- 4:00 p.m.: Equine Medicine (for all attendees) OR Veterinary Student Panel (for all attendees)
“Students visiting the career fair should consider asking about summer programs and how to get veterinary-related experience while still in high school,” suggested Dr. Greenhill. “Research programs are available with undergraduate ‘feeder’ opportunities at some vet schools.”
And there are prizes!
“Once again, we will have some of our limited edition ‘I’m a Future Vet’ t-shirts. This year’s shirt features a horse in honor of equine medicine, and for the first time ever, our shirts will be dated!,” said Dr. Greenhill. “Numerous other items, including some surprises, will be given to students who answer questions throughout our information sessions on Sunday, so get ready to engage with our speakers!”
Although not required, students are asked to register in advance for the fair. Last year’s event was very well attended, and early registration helps conference organizers do a better job. And note that while hourly parking is available at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, students and their families are strongly encouraged to take the Metro (Red Line exiting at the Woodley Park/Zoo Station).
But if you can’t attend, take the time to check out the AAVMC website for information on how to become a veterinarian.