Veterinary medicine focuses on animal health and the study of diseases that affect all animal species. Veterinarians receive comprehensive training in all basic and clinical sciences with relation to a variety of species, including food-producing animals, companion animals, exotic pets and wildlife.
Veterinary medicine's growing range of career options is a key attraction. As global relationships between human and animal health and the ecosystem become more interwoven, veterinarians around the world provide expertise in diverse areas such as:
Private practice: Mixed animal practitioners treat large and small animals while large animal practitioners focus on agricultural livestock. Small animal veterinarians provide health care for dogs, cats and exotic pets. Some private practitioners specialize in treating individual species such as dairy and beef cattle, swine, horses or companion animals.
Specialized disciplines: Clinicians with advanced training provide specialized services in many clinical disciplines, including surgery, internal medicine, medical imaging, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, pathology, dentistry, wildlife medicine and oncology.
Public service: Provincial and federal veterinarians help to develop public policy and legislation related to animal and animal-human health. Their responsibilities include:
Academia and research: Veterinarians are involved in teaching and researching animal health at veterinary colleges, universities and research institutions.
Industry: Veterinarians take part in the research and commercial development of new feed products, drugs and technologies with animal health companies.