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The Veterinarian's Creed

To regard my profession as something more than a means of livelihood;
To value character more highly than reputation and truth above popularity;
To be merciful and humane, preventing needless suffering among dumb beasts;
To be faithful and zealous, preventing needless loss to those I am called on to serve;
To guide my conduct by sober judgement and my judgement by a never-sleeping conscience;
To be modest and open-minded and thankful for every opportunity to increase my knowledge and my usefulness;
To be a co-worker with my fellow practitioners by the mutual interchange of counsel and assistance;
To be true to myself, measuring my success by the value of the service I render rather than by the fee I receive.

Your Veterinarian - Your Other Family Doctor

Did you know that veterinarians are doctors too? Typically they have received eight or more years of college education. This includes undergraduate studies lasting four years, followed by four more years of veterinary medical school. During this time they undergo rigorous course work in pathology, biology, anatomy, radiology, surgery, cardiology, dermatology, opthalmology, parasitology, toxicology, and nutrition, just to mention a few. They are required to pass national board tests to become veterinarians, and each State administers their own test to allow them to practice veterinary medicine within that state. Additionally in Florida, veterinarians are required to maintain no less than 30 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their license.

Unlike physicians trained in human medicine, veterinarians are not limited to just one species. Their education requires studying animals such as dogs and cats, cattle, sheep and horses. Depending on the University, course offerings and student interest, additional courswork may include exotic animal medicine, zoo animals, avian, fish and marine animals.

Some Veterinarians after graduation elect to pursue additional years of training and become certified as specialists in fields such as behavior, surgery, internal medicine, reproduction, cardiology, opthalmology and emergency medicine.

When most folks think of veterinarians, they relate with those that work in private practice as general practitioners, but many other fields exist. Veterinarians are also employed by government and private businesses in food safety, research and homeland security. Zoos and aquariums also employ Doctors of Veterinary Medicine.

So the next time you refer to veterinarians, think of them as the well trained medical professionals that they are and, out of respect, please extend the courtesy of giving them the title of Doctor. They have earned it.