Preventive Veterinary Medicine

They say that prevention is better than cure, and that is the very principle of preventive veterinary medicine.

Usually, we bring our pets or livestock animals to the veterinarian during instances when they show symptoms of sickness or ill health. Most of the times, the veterinarian can be able to treat the disease and improve the animal’s living condition. However, there are certain diseases that may be too difficult to cure and may lead to the death of the animal. In these instances, prevention of the disease is necessary to limit complications to the animal’s health. Preventive medicine veterinarians focus on the deterrence, regulation and cure for diseases, promotion of agricultural productivity, and improvement of the health of both animal and human populations.

They are the go-to-experts to ask for advice on the precautions to take to avoid an animal from getting sick. They also have extensive knowledge in epidemiology, vaccination, and disease intervention that provide a large impact on society.

Are you interested in helping nurture the health of both animals and humans alike? Read on to find out how you can pursue veterinary preventive medicine as a career!


What is Preventive Veterinary Medicine?


preventive veterinary medicine

Some of the areas of specialties in preventive veterinary medicine include:Preventive veterinary medicine is a field of veterinary medicine that focuses on the detection and dissemination of information to prevent, control, or eradicate diseases that may affect both animals and humans.

• Toxicology and Immunology
• Bacteriology and Virology
• Diagnostic Pathology
• Livestock Production Systems
• Herd Health and Disease Control
• Wildlife and Fish Medicine

Veterinarians who work in the field of veterinary preventive medicine also do research, provide diagnosis, and develop methods in order to contain the outbreak of infectious diseases. They are vital to society as their work can extend into the public health, nutrition, agricultural, and economy sectors.

The increase in human and animal lifespan is mainly attributed to proper preventive medicine. Thus, preventive medicine veterinarians may also use their knowledge to help design rural projects and programs that cater to the sustainability needs of livestock, while preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases (diseases of animal origin that affect humans) among the general public.

Their contribution to the healthcare sector has freed us from the devastation of epidemic diseases over the years.


How do I become a doctor of Veterinary Preventive Medicine? 

To become a doctor of preventive veterinary medicine, you must first apply and be accepted to a veterinary school in order to complete their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. You will then be required to take exams that will provide you with the necessary certification to purse their doctorate in preventive veterinary medicine. The needed exams are the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) or Medical College Medicine Admission Test (MCAT).

After getting their license and becoming legally able to practice medicine, aspiring veterinarians can now begin the path of study that will lead to their certification in the field of preventive veterinary medicine. It is strongly advised for applicants to perform well on these exams and maintain good grades throughout the academic program as this field of study is highly competitive.

They will begin their study in courses such as animal welfare, diagnostics, food safety, evidence-based medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, statistics, and medicine production.


How much do I expect to earn as a doctor of Veterinary Preventive Medicine?

preventive veterinary medicineThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that veterinarians are one of the top 30 fastest growing jobs by 2020 with a strong growth rate of nearly 36 percent. This is a much faster growth rate compared to the average rate from all other professions. According to reports also by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), veterinarians have a median annual salary of $82,900 as of 2010.

The lowest paid ten percent of all veterinarians earned a salary of a $50,480 each year while the highest paid ten percent of all veterinarians earned a salary of over $141,680 each year. Board-certified specialists tend to be in that top tier of the compensation scale, though the BLS does not separate specific salary data for each of the individual veterinary specialties.

Working conditions are often great and the benefits are good with 40 hours of work per week. The biggest growth areas are in population medicine, preventive medicine, and public practice. Preventive veterinary medicine will continue to be important as long as infectious diseases still thrive.


Final Considerations

It is often said that the history of mankind has been dominated by death from plagues, outbreaks, and pestilence rather than from great wars.

Fortunately, veterinary preventive medicine has helped decrease the frequency and severity of epidemic diseases worldwide.

Without the continued research and development from preventive medicine veterinarians, our society will crumble due to the damage of infectious diseases.

Preventive veterinary medicine is a great career that offers great job variety, plenty of intellectual stimuli, and a huge sense of fulfillment from doing something important for society.

As a veterinarian specializing in this field, you will have the opportunity to partake in the battle against the ever evolving infectious agents that affect the world as a whole.

Furthermore, the feeling of contributing something beneficial to help improve both animal and human welfare may prove to be worthwhile in considering preventive veterinary medicine as your career of choice.




<– Back to Veterinary Careers page