A Career in the Veterinary Field (Part 1)

A Career in the Veterinary Field (Part 1)

The Team at GVHVeterinary medicine is an exciting and dynamic field with many career opportunities. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the veterinary field, first consider which area of veterinary medicine most interests you.  Here is a list of some of the typical areas of focus available:

  • Private Practice
  • Corporate Practice
  • Teaching & Research
  • Regulatory Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Uniformed Services
  • Industry

Private Practice is one of the most recognizable role in the veterinary field, as it is what most of us think of when we think about our pets going to the doctor.  Corporate Practice is similar to Private Practice with the exception of ownership.  Generally, Private Practices are owned by an individual or group or individuals, while Corporate Practices are owned by corporations and have different governing bodies.  Both private and corporate practices can be small animal, large animal, exotic, emergency, specialty or a combination.  Here are the typical careers within Private or Corporate Practices:

Veterinarian (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD)… veterinarians must complete High School (4 years), College (3 – 5 years), Veterinary School (4 years ) and Pass National Boards. They are required to continue their education with a minimum of 36 credit hours every 2 years. Veterinarians are responsible for diagnosing disease, vaccinating against infectious disease, performing medical and surgical procedures, preventing the transmission of disease, and advising owners on how to keep their pets healthy.

Board Certified Veterinarian … like human doctors that specialize in one area of medicine, veterinarians can become board certified too. Board Certified Veterinarians must complete High School (4 years), College (3 – 5 years), Veterinary School (4 Years), Residency or Practical Experience, Entrance Examination, (2 – 4 years of school in discipline) and Pass National Examination. As of 2014 there were 22 different programs.  Here are some of the most common:

  • Dentistry, AVDC
  • Dermatology, ACVD
  • Internal Medicine, ACVIM
  • Oncology, DACVIM
  • Ophthalmology, ACVO
  • Pathology, ACVP
  • Behaviorist, ACVB

Certified Veterinary Technician, CVT (also known as RVT or LVT) … Technicians must complete High School (4 years), College (2 or 4 year program), and Pass National Boards. They are required to continue their education with a minimum of 36 credit hours every 2 years. Technicians work under the direct supervision of veterinarians.  Technicians administer anesthesia, monitor patients, collect laboratory samples, perform laboratory testing, setup and take radiographs, prepare surgical instruments, and administer medication, vaccines and treatments that are prescribed by the veterinarians.  They are also responsible for observing patients behavior and administering emergency first aid to injured animals.

Specialized Veterinary Technicians … Specialized Technicians are licensed technicians with additional knowledge and skills in a specific discipline. Specialized Technicians must complete course work, additional hours in the discipline and complete an examination to earn credentials in a specialty. Here is a brief list of specialties:  anesthesia, surgery, dentistry, behavior, and internal medicine.  For a complete list visit http://www.navta.net/?page=specialties

Certified Veterinary Practice Manager … CVPM’s must complete High School (4 years), College (18 hours of management related courses), 48 credits hours of management related continuing education, three years of experience in the industry and Pass Certification Exam (covering Human resources, Law & Ethics, Marketing, Organization of the Practice and Finance). They are required to continue their education with a minimum of 48 credit hours every 2 years. The purpose of the practice manager is to serve the owner or board of directors of the practice in establishing and reaching the goals and policies they desire.  The practice manger combines the elements of business and veterinary medicine to succeed in maintaining excellence and quality of care to clients and their pets.  Practice Managers must be competent in human resources, financials, production, administrative duties, and accounting.

Client Care Specialist … CCS’s must complete High School (4 years) and extensive on-site training is required. The CCS establishes relationships with clients to better serve the healthcare needs of their pets. They schedule appointments and surgery, prepare the medical records, input vaccine information, greet client’s in-person and over the phone, review and respond to email and direct clients to the information that they need to make sound decisions about their pets.

Depending on the size of the veterinary hospital the following roles may also be available:

  • Office Manager
  • Team Leaders / Department Managers
  • Bookkeeper
  • Human Resources Director
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Operations Director
  • Business Manager
  • Kennel Technician
  • Medical Director

We will continue this series about the career opportunities available in the dynamic field of veterinary medicine. Look for the next article in December.


Celebrating National Veterinary Technican Week

Celebrating National Veterinary Technican Week

Veterinary technicians are critical to the day-to-day function of veterinary practices, and play vital roles in preserving animal health and welfare. National Veterinary Technician Week, first celebrated in 1993, takes place in the third week of October each year (October 12 – 18, 2014), and provides an opportunity to recognize veterinary technicians’ contributions.

Although we value veterinary technicians every day of the year, we take this week to honor their commitment to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care for all animals.

We, at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital, are so proud of our dedicated team of veterinary technicians. As a thank you for all that they do, we surprised them with dinner at a local restaurant (they thought they were attending a continuing education class) and the whole team enjoyed cupcakes in honor of Veterinary Technician Week.

Here are some of the reasons why our technicians do what they do…..

Meg Graduation photo with cat“I have always known I would work in the small animal field. My mother thinks her Siamese cat named Annie may have contributed to my love of animals.  When she was pregnant with me, Annie would lie on or next to my mother’s belly and purr.  I love all species of animals but cats hold a special place in my heart. I grew up with multiple cats and can’t imagine not living with many kitties lounging around.  I love that I am able to adopt the less adoptable kitties and have the experience to care for their multiple health issues.  I have been able to use my experience to help clients care for their kitties in the best possible way.”

Meghan, Veterinary Technician

_DSC0617 “I’ve always been drawn to animals since I was a little girl. I was very lucky to know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, as a career, at such a young age.  Even though I’m still young, I know this is what I was meant to do.  I am very passionate about the animals!! We see new and interesting cases, build relationships with our clients, and put our skills and knowledge to the test. I also love the technical side and the education that goes into being a Certified Veterinary Technician. Because of my position as Team Leader, I also really love the personal connection I have with my team mates. I enjoy meeting with them on a monthly basis, helping to further them in their careers, and help solve problems with them as a team.”

Alyssa, CVT, Team Leader

_DSC0706Todd, Director of Operations and Logan


Kat, CVT, Veterinary Technician and Pet Chicken


Alison, Veterinary Technician and Manny


Where Are the Ticks on my Pet Coming From?

Where Are the Ticks on my Pet Coming From?

Peyton with furry family

Question:    Are the ticks I’m finding on my pet coming from the trees in my backyard?

Answer:  Ticks do not fly or jump. Ticks “quest” for hosts from ground level to about knee level on high grass and vegetation.

Imagine a baby holding out their arms signaling to a loved one that they want to be held. Now imagine a tick doing the same thing waiting for the proper host to come by and latch onto.

We tend to find ticks higher up on our pets because they crawl upward. The most common natural host for ticks (American dog tick) that we encounter are raccoons, skunks, coyotes and untreated domestic dogs and cats. So even if you only walk your pet in your backyard they are always at risk for ticks.


Sash & Emmitt

Sash & Emmitt

shelter pups.001We got both of our dogs from a shelter. Sasha came from the ARL and Emmitt came from the Montgomery county SPCA. Seems where ever our friend Tracie worked, we ended up with a dog. Not that we are complaining….we feel these dogs rescued US. Our family was going through some rough times and my husband and I both needed something. We got Sasha our German Shepherd while our Newfoundland was getting pretty old. They had a year together and he passed. Sasha just seemed to make us laugh. The joy she brought me, I thought my husband needed the same….Tracie called, we took a look and Emmitt came home with us! I have always said if we had big enough pockets, our dogs would be in them and with us all day long! Both dogs were very thin when they came home with us. It didn’t take too long for either one to gain weight and adjust. Sasha still has some anxiety when I leave, and Emmitt thinks he’s a lap dog. We love them both and are extremely happy they found us!



ShaydShayd was one of hundreds of “bully dog” mixed breeds found at the Berks Animal Rescue League almost 2 years ago.  I spend quite a bit of time there and was asked to examine her one day because she was ill.  She was pulled off the streets of Reading intact, heavy with milk from a recent litter and running with and intact male friend.  She was spayed and had exploratory surgery because there was a mass of some sort in her abdomen.  No one found anything unusual.  I fell in love with her and brought her home to live with our pack.  She had a hard time gaining weight and not much of an appetite.  Two months after adopting her, my son came home from school to find a 10 inch round wad of Berber carpeting in her crate with her.  It was in her stomach all that time.

Our dog pack is unfortunately down to one now, just Shayd.  We love her very much.  We get glimpses of her former life in Reading on occasion.  She hates the basement, runs from the laundry (who can blame her) and would much rather walk than run.  Since she looked like a body builder when we got her, we suspect lots of treadmill work.  If you know very little about what these amazingly lovable dogs are forced to do in the name of sport, please take some time to visit a shelter or an appropriate website.  Also, when you get a chance to gather a new canine distraction into our arms and lives, consider a rescued dog or critter of any variety and go to your local shelter.  You would be amazed at who people throw away.

Animal Shelters & Rescues

Animal Shelters & Rescues

Animal Rescue League of Berks County

ARL58 Kennel Road, Birdsboro, PA 19508; (610) 373-8830




PAWSibilities Rescue

Pawsibilities Animal Rescue

2048 Sumneytown Pike, Harleysville, PA 19438; (484) 485-7297

email: pawsibilitiesanimalrescue@yahoo.com




Montgomery County SPCA

Montgomery SPCA

1059 Sweisford Road, Perkiomenville, PA 18074; (610) 754-7822

email: tracie.graham@montgomerycountyspca.org

Cat Angel Network

CATANGELsmPO BOX 3071, Stowe, PA 19464; (610) 327-6870

email: jaysing@aol.com

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