Associate veterinarian positions are available at many pet hospitals, veterinary clinics, and veterinarians' offices. Requirements for these jobs often vary based on the size of the hospital, the pay level, and demand for the position. However, educational requirements generally include a doctor of veterinary medicine degree or equivalent. Many positions also require a license with state veterinary boards, and some jobs require a license with the Drug Enforcement Agency as well. Previous veterinary experience is generally required or preferred.
The basic duties of the associate veterinarian's job revolve around working with animals and their owners to evaluate, diagnose, and treat those animals for any illnesses; they also provide preventative care. Specific tasks performed during a visit may include everything from providing basic vaccinations to consulting with owners about treatment options to performing surgery. The ability to work with a team of veterinary staff members to effectively treat animals is essential, and this job also involves frequent communication with owners to determine their preferences and concerns. The associate veterinarian must be able to effectively communicate with owners about their treatment options and recommended preventative care. In all tasks, it is important to follow strict guidelines and protocols for safety and efficiency.
The associate veterinarian's work is generally performed in an indoor environment, usually in a hospital or office location. Shifts vary, with some occurring during regular business hours and others requiring weekend and evening work. Job-related hazards should be mostly mitigated by use of proper protocols related to exposure, safety, and sanitation, but working in close proximity to animals on a regular basis may create some risk of injury or illness.
Associate Veterinarian Tasks
- Administer vaccinations and collect samples for testing for pathogens or diseases.
- Provide immediate treatment and care including diagnosis, prescriptions, and/or advice and behavior changes.
- Examine animals to detect and determine health, injury, or illnesses.
- Counsel pet owners around treatment and diagnosis, and perform euthanization when required.