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ENTRY to veterinary school as an undergraduate student continues to be highly desirable, with application numbers far outweighing the number of places available in the UK. Applicants have often had ambitions to be vets since early childhood and have undergone extensive work experience placements to gain animal husbandry experience and insight into the profession. However, the veterinary profession, as well as the veterinary degree course, is not only rewarding but also very demanding. Similar to medical students, veterinary students have more pressures compared to students on many other courses (Dent and Rennie 2005). Contributing to this is the course content and high workload; the wide range of skills required; the expectation to behave like a professional and be judged accordingly; having to communicate effectively with a wide range of people; and having to deal with emotions in difficult situations including life/death decisions. Universities, therefore, aim to recruit students who are academic high achievers who can also perform well in problem-based and practical tasks. It is important that students have a good insight into the profession, including its challenging aspects and the high levels of professionalism required. Veterinary undergraduates should also have an awareness of the wide range of career options available in addition to being a veterinary practitioner, and the need to be able to demonstrate effective leadership of …
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