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Why veterinary medicine programs want students to have experience

Veterinary medicine programs are competitive, expensive and grueling, and many programs require candidates to have experience working with animals to ensure students understand the profession's challenges as well as the rewards, says Dr. Claudia Kirk of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Burnout and depression are common among students and practitioners, and 1 in 6 veterinarians have considered suicide, according to the AVMA, as they struggle with compassion fatigue and other stress, including a high debt-to-income ratio.

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