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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Never Too Late To Be A Vet

Karen asks this question, and I actually need some help from my readers...

I have a non medical related question. I am 34 years old and I wish to study veterinary medicine. I was unable to study directly after school due to family issues and not having science from school.

I have just completed a one year BTEC First Diploma in Equine Nursing (level 2) and I now wish to apply to vet school. Would this be sufficient for entry requirements or should I continue with the BTEC on the advanced level, which will be the BTEC National Certificate in Equine Nursing (level 3).

Or I could go back to school and complete science and re-do maths as a refresher. I really don’t know which route to take and I am now at a point in my life where I am able to take 6 years out and study.

Am I too old to want to do this? What else could I do and complete in order to better my chances at getting in? I will be applying to the University of Pretoria in South Africa and they select by academics and not work experience and the like.

Any advice?

First, I'm only familiar with the requirements in US veterinary schools, so I can't speak to any requirements in other countries.  Heck, I don't even know what a BTEC is!  However, I know I have readers on every continent except Antarctica, so I'll be surprised if someone else can't give you the answers you want about these specific issues, Karen.   Anyone who can help, please post a comment with suggestions or answers.

However, I do want to respond to the issue of age.  I believe that it's not too late to follow your dreams.  When I was in vet school there were at least 10 people in a class of 72 who were over 30 when they began.  I knew a vet who had a career in publishing (he was editor of a nursing journal) before he started vet school around 40 years old.  Now he works for a large corporate practice in the US, managing a few dozen veterinary practices in the midwest. If you have the drive and desire, 34 is not too old!  Go for it!


  1. I'm a second year vet student in the US, so I can't help on the subject of admission requirements. Karen, are you able to contact the school directly to see what they require and the kind of background that their typical applicants possess? As far as US schools go, they are usually really helpful and try to answer all your questions.
    As far as age is concerned, the age range of my class goes from 22 years old to 50 - We have a lawyer in our class who practiced for 20 years and decided to make a career change. Don't let age stand in the way of your dreams - especially if you have the ability and time to fulfill them at this point in your life! Congratulations on making the leap to vet med and best of luck to you Karen!

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