Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals.
Veterinary science helps human health through the monitoring and control of zoonotic disease (infectious disease transmitted from non-human animals to humans), food safety, and indirectly through human applications from basic medical research. They also help to maintain food supply through livestock health monitoring and treatment, and mental health by keeping pets healthy and long living. Veterinary scientists often collaborate with epidemiologists, and other health or natural scientists depending on type of work. Ethically, veterinarians are usually obliged to look after animal welfare.
Veterinary medical workers include:
- Veterinarians: Physicians who protect the health of both animals and humans, veterinarians may have their own practice caring for companion animals, or they may work in zoos, wildlife parks, or aquariums; focus on public health and regulatory medicine; enter academia or research; or they may pursue other career paths.
- Veterinary technicians: These workers assist veterinarians with surgery, laboratory procedures, radiography, anesthesiology, treatment and nursing and client education. Almost every state requires a veterinary technician to pass a credentialing exam to ensure a high level of competency.
- Veterinary assistants: They support the veterinarian and/or the veterinary technician in their daily tasks. The assistant may be asked to perform kennel work, assist in the restraint and handling of animals, feed and exercise the animals, or spend time on clerical duties.
Other roles in a veterinary office may include a receptionist and a practice manager (someone who manages the office’s business functions).
Animal behaviorists are also a part of the veterinary field though they are not usually found in a veterinarian’s office. They study the way animals behave and try to determine what causes certain types of behavior and what factors can prompt behavior change.
The Scope of Veterinary Medicine
The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild, with a wide range of conditions which can affect different species.
Veterinary medicine is widely practiced, both with and without professional supervision. Professional care is most often led by a veterinary physician (also known as a vet, veterinary surgeon or veterinarian), but also by paraveterinary workers such as veterinary nurses or technicians. This can be augmented by other paraprofessionals with specific specialisms such as animal physiotherapy or dentistry, and species relevant roles such as farriers.
Skills and Competencies needed by Veterinary Medical workers
- analytical and evaluation skills
- customer care skills
- decision making ability
- interpersonal and teamworking skills
- oral and written communication skills
- problem solving ability
- project and time management skills
- self-motivation and initiative.
- Passion for Animals
- Empathy, patience and sensitivity
- Rational objectivity
- A thorough, methodical approach
- Scientific ability
- Calmness in pressurised or emotional situations
Career Opportunities and Job Options for Veterinary Medicine Graduates in Nigeria
- Animal physiotherapist
- Veterinarian Assistant
- Veterinarian Technician
- Veterinary physician
- Veterinarian food inspection specialist
- Associate veterinarian
- Veterinary surgeon
- Veterinary pharmacologist
- Veterinary epidemiologist
- Veterinary neurologist
- Veterinary dermatologist
- Environmental consultant
- Higher education lecturer
- Nature conservation officer
- Research scientist (medical)
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Sales executive
- Science writer
- Veterinary nurse
Admission requirements for the study of Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Veterinary Medicine under the Faculty of Medical, Pharmaceutical & Health Sciences in the above Universities include;
Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Veterinary Medicine;
Five (5) O' level credit passes to include English Language, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.