Dr. Pradnya Pethe, M.V. Sc. (Surgery), Consulting Veterinary Surgeon and Sonologist, Proprietor, Canids Veterinary Centre, Mumbai, speaks about making a career in veterinary science.

With dairy, fishery and poultry industries making rapid strides and a renewed interest in farming, biotechnology, and genetic engineering, the demand for veterinarians is growing. India, after all, is one of the leading countries having livestock population and the ever-growing demand for animal products is only increasing.

All those who empathise with the Eddie Murphy’s character of Dr. John Dolittle and love animals would surely make a good vet. With nanotechnology being the buzzword and the pharma sector ever so dependent on animal husbandry, making a career in veterinary science is a sure bet!

Keeping pets is becoming a trend and the demand for veterinary science and private veterinary clinics is on the rise.

It is really surprising to know that out of the total students in veterinary colleges and universities in India, 70 percent of students are girls. Globally the demand for this course is estimated to increase by 36 percent by 2020. Also, there is a perception that vets only deal with cats and dogs. There are a whole lot of animals, birds, fish, rabbits, ferrets, rodents, reptiles and larger animals in the wild, zoos, and households that need help. Also, keeping the animals healthy is vital as human health is closely linked with animal health.

  1. How to enter the field?

Students who have passed class XII with Physics, Chemistry and Biology are eligible to enter this field. Veterinary Science graduate programme in India is of a five-year duration. The 10-semester programme includes one semester for an internship. The Veterinary Council of India is the regulatory body of veterinary education in India. Admission to most of the veterinary courses is done on the basis of entrance examination conducted by the concerned universities. Previously, ‘All India Common Entrance examination’ (AICEE) for admission to Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry was conducted by the Veterinary Council of India, but now this exam has been scraped by NEET.

Prominent Institutes

  • Bombay Veterinary Science College, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar, Haryana
  • Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, UP
  • College of Veterinary Science, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • G.C. Negi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

2. What is the scope of veterinary science in India?

With an increase in the number of nuclear families, there is an increase in the number of people opting for pets. The dairy and poultry industry is getting highly mechanised and intensive. Research oriented work is gaining market in India. In all the above fields, the role of a veterinarian is of paramount importance and thereby the society will always feel the need of a veterinarian.

3. How extended is the awareness in our country on the importance of pet care?

Presently the veterinarian’s role is the need-based in the field of pet care. The pet is brought into the house at the advice of non-veterinarian. However, as the pet falls sick the veterinarian’s need arises. Thereafter there is a strong bond between the pet parent and the veterinarian.

4. What challenges do veterinary doctors face in India?

The establishment of a clinic faces a lot of opposition from fellow residents and shopkeepers of the area. The government has no specific guidelines for the establishment of a veterinary clinic. All laws of medical clinics are extrapolated for veterinary clinics.

5. What are the other job opportunities in this field?

Other than a clinician, the veterinarian can also flourish as a dairy entrepreneur, poultry entrepreneur, researcher, trainer, technologist and many more. Wildlife veterinarian is one more fascinating aspect of veterinary.

6. What are the skills required for an aspirant to enter this field?

Passion and dedication accompanied by strong desire are required to succeed. One should have genuine love and compassion for animals. As animals cannot tell what they are suffering from, a good vet has to read the signs from the animal’s behaviour and diagnose the ailment. Vets must also be able to handle emergencies and work in physically disagreeable conditions, or in rural areas where working hours may be long and irregular. Working with large animals requires physical stamina and quick body reflexes to tackle the animal’s moody behaviour and thus vets should be able to instinctively gauge the animal’s condition.

7. A veterinary doctor has a major role in the conservation of livestock and domestic animal wealth. Comments.

The job of the veterinarian is much more challenging than a human physician. A veterinarian not only treats animals but also prevents the spreading of diseases in animals by administering timely vaccination and medicines and gives advice on the care of pets and farm animals. Their activities also include animal breed improvement by selective breeding and artificial insemination, wildlife conservation, poultry management and healthcare, livestock insurance, and rural development. Broadly a veterinary doctor has the most important role in the conservation of livestock and domestic animal wealth.

8. Your advice to the aspirants…..

Just go for it and enjoy the experience of being the best doctor in the world.

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