By Allison Salonko.
Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.
Getting into any kind of medical school is a challenge, but the competition for veterinary schools has gotten steep lately. Trying to find reputable and helpful websites and other resources for studying can be difficult and good web pages can be overshadowed by noninformative and spam sites. No worries!
This article is here to save the day and lead you in the right direction for all of your veterinary study needs!
There are so many websites and other resources out there for studying in vet school.
Below, I have compiled a list of the sites that I feel are the most reliable, knowledgeable and easy to read through.
VIN (Veterinary Information Network)
VIN is easily one of the oldest (started in 1991) and most reliable sources for students and doctors throughout their entire careers.
The Veterinary Information Network provides tons of data and information about hundreds of diseases, illnesses and surgical techniques.
Not only does VIN allow for easy communication and discussions, via chat boards among other colleagues and veterinarians, but it also has a Student Center, which provides a large database of resources for studying veterinary students.
One thing some people may view as a downside to VIN is that it does require a membership that has an annual cost. However, a lot of the time you can access it for free if you are a vet student.
International Veterinary Information Service (IVIS)
This is another online option that is similar to VIN.
The Internation Veterinary Information Service provides a plethora of research papers and other free resources such as eBooks, medical notes, journals and minicourses.
IVIS does not have a membership fee that goes along with using their website.
They provide their users with an IVIS calendar that is actually the largest global calendar of veterinary events.
This resource shows tons of online and on-site courses and classes, webinars, videos and other continuing education opportunities.
PetMD is one of those sites that a lot of owners and non-veterinary professionals stumble upon and visit when they have questions about their pet’s health.
While it is a great and reputable source for these owners to find information, it is also helpful for those who are studying in vet school.
There are tons of reference materials and other resources such as a list of animal diseases, care tips and medical and emergency terms plus a library of animal health articles written by actual veterinarians.
Not to mention this is an excellent place to stay up to date on news in the veterinary community.
Veterinary Practice News (VPN)
VPN is another site that is a go-to for many veterinarians and their staff. They provide loads of online resources like articles on issues, trends and events in the veterinary field.
Veterinary Practice News also prides itself on being an open forum used for discussing controversial or new topics in the field.
VPN also likes to highlight veterinary schools for academics and praises them. This positive publicity is a nice way to advertise to potential future veterinary students who are interested in going to their college.
This wonderful resource is similar to VIN, as it does require a monthly membership.
If you are a student or veterinary professional then you can have your VPN price for as low as 5$ a month.
Merck Veterinary Manual
Merck has been a trusted advisor in the veterinary field since 1955 and continues to be a front runner in publications for educational manuals and other informative content.
They have both online and published books that can be a huge help to those who are studying for vet school or just need a quick reference for a drug or medical condition.
The Merck Veterinary Manual has been providing veterinarians and other vet med professionals with authoritative information on diseases in food and companion animals. Not to mention the expanded materials on exotics and laboratory animals.
Merck has all of its resources available online and as a hard copied book.
This wonderful resource has been helping veterinary professionals have the confidence and peace of mind that they are choosing the right drug and dosage for their animal patients for years. This source can be found online and as a book, but the online version can be updated periodically as new innovations and information is discovered.
Plumbs has been a staple in veterinary practices as well as teaching hospitals for over 30 years and strives to continue to their excellent reputation. Their trusted reference books are continually updated in order to provide the most reputable and well-informed care possible.
Today, Plumbs provides the most up-to-date drug information possible, while also utilizing time-saving tools like the drug-interaction checker and built-in conversion calculator.
There are also over 550 sheets of drug information for pet owners and practicing vets alike.
Like most older and reliable sources, there is a yearly membership for veterinarians and other veterinary partners. Student discounts can be applied.
AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)
All veterinary professionals are familiar with the AVMA, but did you know that they provide students and practicing veterinarians with access to plenty of studies and materials?
They call it the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database, which connects you with clinical trials and other health studies that include a range of animal health issues.
You can search for trials and studies that have already been performed and learn from these sources.
Or you can actually provide health data for certain cases, potentially helping others learn from what you have seen and used in practice.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
The FDA has been around for a long time. In 1848 the US government started testing the safety of agricultural products, which later became the responsibility of the FDA somewhere around 1862. However, the FDA hasn’t been known by its current name until after 1930. That makes them the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the US federal government.
While the FDA’s educational information may not always be that handy for studying and being a student in general, there are surely times where referencing their material was helpful.
Most importantly, the FDA has a lot of information regarding drugs and pet foods and what has been recently recalled with certain products.
This reliable source of thorough information is an important avenue for veterinary professionals as it can be difficult to find decent authoritative documents and studies on recent trends and recalls within the industry.
In 2003, three veterinary students became frustrated with the lack of options for studying for the NAVLE and they decided to create a reliable and excellent way for vet students to feel confident in their knowledge before taking their test.
This was the first online resource available to veterinary students for studying the national exam and continues to be the #1 option for students in their final year.
They have thousands of questions with tons of different online reading materials and powerpoints to engage and help retain the info.
Not to mention, you can access VetPrep from any smart device so you are not tied down to your desktop computer or laptop.
Books: Oldschool But Not Underestimated
Books are crazy expensive, especially ones that you are required to purchase for college classes.
Nothing is more painful than spending several hundred dollars on a book that you feel like you only used a few times throughout school.
I’ll admit though, you will certainly reference your books and other online study resources not only as a student but during your time as a practicing veterinarian as well.
Don’t underestimate your hard copies of information as most of the PDFs that you find online are all just pulled from older book material.
Many colleges actually provide digital copies of several books for free.
Find A Study Guide That Fits Your Study Style
Because the number of study resources and guides continues to expand, it is even more important to find a site or app that fits your style of studying and learning.
This is because you want your time and brain to function efficiently, if you are not able to retain or grow from your study resource it may be a good idea to look into one of these other options.
After all, with the amount of time, money and effort that is put into going through and graduating veterinary school, you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your studies.