Becoming a vet: A challenging but fulfilling career

The career of a veterinarian offers interest, challenge, and unparalleled opportunities to celebrate the human-animal bond and to contribute to the welfare of humans and animals.

Veterinary Medicine, also known as Veterinary Science, is the animal-related version of the standard five-year medical degree.

Choosing to study Veterinary Medicine is a long road to what is a challenging, but ultimately fulfilling career.

Only a small number of public universities in Malaysia currently offer this course, namely Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, and seats are very limited.

Students who wish to take up this course abroad face a big dilemma as the tuition fees can be very expensive in the UK, Australia and US. The cost of living in these countries is also very high, adding to the financial burden.

Currently, there is a cheaper alternative for those interested in Veterinary Medicine, in Indonesia.

There are three top ranked universities in Indonesia that offer Veterinary Medicine – Universitas Airlangga (Surabaya), Universitas Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta) and Institut Pertanian Bogor (Bogor).

They are fully accredited by the Public Services Department and Veterinary Association Malaysia (VAM), and the duration of the entire course is five years.

In the first two and a half years of the course, students will focus on pre-clinical studies or theoretical knowledge, covering topics such as veterinary anatomy, histology, physiology, neuroscience, microbiology, animal health and welfare, pathology, parasitology, introductory personal and professional skills for veterinarians and principles of animal management.

From this theoretical foundation, students will move into clinical studies for their final years, which will include rotations covering a wide variety of animal types such as equine, small animals, farm animals, zoo and wildlife.

Alongside clinical practice, students will continue to have lessons in clinical theory so they are fully prepared to work as a vet once they graduate.

The education syllabus in these universities is comprehensive and is on par with other established universities in other parts of the world. Tuition fees are much cheaper and the cost of living is very affordable.

To those who are committed to becoming vets, it is the first step towards a satisfying, rewarding and lucrative career, well worth the struggle as the daily work of a vet is more than sufficient compensation for the challenging process of becoming qualified as one.

As long as there are animals, there will be a need for veterinarians to care for them. The emotional and intellectual rewards of Veterinary Medicine are rich and diverse.

Article contributed by Medic Ed Consultant Sdn Bhd, Tel: 03-7981 1821, Website: