curriculum guide. All of our materials
are available for free through our website.
TOS: National Pet Week is mentioned
in the resources. Could you share a little
bit about that observance with us?
Dr.Fobian: National Pet Week (www
. nationalpetweek.org) is the first week in
May annually. We encourage people to celebrate and recognize their pets every day,
but this week calls special attention to what
pets bring to our lives and how people can
be responsible pet owners. The lesson plans
were created for use for grades 1-4 during
this celebration to teach children about responsible pet ownership, but they can also
be used any time throughout the year.
TOS: There are several videos online
and free DVDs you can request. Please
tell us about those.
Dr. Fobian: We have a You Tube channel ( www.youtube.com/user/AmerVet
MedAssn) that has new videos added on
a regular basis. These videos focus on
many different topics from pet selection
and pet care, to animal-related and veter-inary-related observances, to updates on
policies or laws that affect the veterinary
profession. Our career DVD (Veterinary
Medicine: It’s More than You Think!) and
rabies DVD (Simple Steps Save Lives) are
appropriate (and educational) for the
K- 12 grade levels. The content of these
videos is available to watch online for
free, but people can request a free copy of
each at www.avma.org/DVDs
TOS: What information do you have for
high school students?
Dr. Fobian: While many of our materials can be used across the various age
groups, we additionally have a career
DVD ( bit.ly/1qe1NvY) and a series of
career brochures ( bit.ly/1vUCK5J) about
veterinary medicine for this age group
that are available for free at our website.
We also have a document titled
Veterinary Admissions 101 ( bit.ly/1vUCK5J)
that provides guidance for aspiring veterinarians on the experiences they should
seek and the classes they should take in
high school and college to be best prepared for a veterinary career.
TOS: Is veterinary medicine a career
that has growth potential?
Dr. Fobian: As long as there are animals, as well as animal and human diseases, in this world and in our lives, there
will be a need for veterinarians. And
there are many different opportunities
within veterinary medicine in addition
to the dog-and-cat vet that usually comes
to people’s minds. Veterinarians can go
into clinical practice, working to care for
all kinds of animal species that are owned
as pets, livestock, or for other production
purposes. They can become specialists in
a field such as ophthalmology (diseases
of the eyes), surgery, internal medicine,
and more. They can also become teachers and researchers; work for the U.S.
military, caring for military animals and
protecting public health; work for state
or local governments to protect animal
and public health; and work in industry
to develop new products that help veterinarians and doctors keep animals and
people healthy. For more information on
the different opportunities in veterinary
medicine, visit www.avma.org.
TOS: What are some good educational
guidelines to help us prepare our teens to
enter into this field?
Dr. Fobian: A solid interest and educational foundation in science and math
is critical to success, but is just part of
the whole package. Veterinary schools
look for good grades, but also for leadership qualities, communication skills,
and veterinary and animal-related experience. Our Veterinary Admissions 101
( bit.ly/1p2CBIF) document provides
answers to common questions about preparing for veterinary school.
TOS: Are there special schools for veterinary medicine?
Dr. Fobian: To prepare for veterinary
school, students can attend any undergraduate school that provides the prerequisite classes. A degree in veterinary
medicine, however, requires the successful completion of a doctorate-level veterinary program at a veterinary school.
The AVMA Council on Education
is the accrediting body for veterinary
schools ( bit.ly/1vXUSuO) all over the
world to ensure the quality of veterinary
education. There are currently 28 accredited veterinary schools in the United
States and 19 accredited schools outside
of the U.S. In addition, the AVMA accredits Veterinary Technician Programs
( bit.ly/1vXWiW9) and Distance Learning (Online) Programs ( bit.ly/1o6068A)
for veterinary technology.
TOS: What kinds of volunteer work or
hands-on training could you suggest?
Dr. Fobian: For someone interested
in a career in veterinary medicine, we
recommend getting as much exposure
and experience as possible. This serves
several purposes: it gives students a good
perspective on what to expect from a veterinary career—both the good and the
bad aspects—so that they can decide if
it’s the right career for them; it gives them
experience that can set a good foundation for veterinary education; and it can
help a promising, aspiring veterinarian
obtain a good letter of reference that can
help them get into veterinary school.
Aspiring veterinarians can volunteer or
seek entry-level jobs with veterinary clinics, animal shelters, rescues, production
farms, zoos, and other places that hire
The opportunities available depend on
the age level of the student and the requirements in the individual’s state.
Additionally, opportunities to build
leadership and communication skills are
also highly recommended, and include
school government positions, clubs, team
sports, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, Future
Farmers of America (FFA) ( www.ffa.org/
Pages/ default.aspx) or 4-H (www.4-h
TOS: You also have a video game that
you can play online or download an app.
I love time-management games, and
when I announced I had a new one to
play, my kids came running to the computer. It was even better since there were
The AVMA has found
that children show
an interest in science,
medicine, at a young age.