The field of veterinary biomedical studies is concerned with the cellular and molecular activities of animal systems and how biology and physical science can be applied to veterinary medicine. Read on to learn more about this field of study, including degree options and potential earnings.
Veterinary biomedical studies may be found through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in veterinary medicine. While completion of an undergraduate program may help you prepare for entry into a graduate program, you'll need a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) and a license to work as a veterinarian. Areas of concentration may include anatomy and physiology, veterinary medicine and surgery, pathobiology and clinical science.
You can expect to work long hours in this profession. As a clinical veterinarian, you should also be prepared to deal with emotional pet owners who consider their animals to be members of the family. On the other hand, if you choose to concentrate on research, your work will take place in an office or a laboratory.
In addition to working for a large or small animal veterinary practice, you may also pursue a career in biomedical technology, disease research and education. You might also consider working in animal management and nutrition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of veterinarians is expected to increase by an average rate of 12% from 2012-2022. In May 2013, the BLS also reported that veterinarians earned a median annual wage of $86,640. Professionals in the tenth percentile earned a median annual salary of $53,270 or less, while those in the 90th percentile were paid $149,530 or more (www.bls.gov).
An undergraduate veterinary studies program typically includes general education courses in English, mathematics, statistics and humanities. Health-based science courses in physiology, anatomy and biochemistry are offered in conjunction with clinical studies in pathology, parasitology, virology and bacteriology. You may also pursue topics in toxicology, epidemiology and immunology. Upon completing veterinary medicine classes, you should be prepared to conduct research into disease prevention and treatment or animal genetics.
Master's degree programs in veterinary and biomedical sciences are also available and can include topics in domestic animal dissection, neuroanatomy and mammalian physiology. You may also have the chance to attend career seminars. Areas of potential research might include small animal medicine and surgery, large animal medicine, anatomy and pathology. You may also conduct research in areas related to radiology, physiology, population health or pharmacology. Doctoral programs can provide opportunities for applied clinical research and culminate in the writing and defense of an original dissertation.
Some colleges and universities offer combined degree programs that can lead to a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Once enrolled, you'll complete animal research, conduct lab meetings and participate in clinical training. You might also have the chance to pursue advanced-level topics in developmental biology and physiological chemistry. Independent research is also required and will serve as the basis for your graduate thesis.