In 2012 the Humane Society estimated that 47% of American households own at least one dog and that 46% own at least one cat. And as the growth of companion and service animals continues, so does the need for veterinary services provided by educated and experienced professionals.

This guide provides a starting point for exploring the many resources available to veterinary students and new professionals. This resource guide includes references to OpenCourseware, professional organizations, journals and more.

Professional Organizations

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) - The AVMA is a non-profit association of veterinarians governed by an 18 member, volunteer executive board. Member veterinarians come from private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia and the military. The objective of the AVMA is to be an advocate for advancement in the science and art of veterinary medicine. The association also provides a membership for veterinary students in the SAVMA.
  • World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA) - Both a new and niche discipline of veterinary science, the WAVMA is working to bring this specialized field to the forefront. The goal of WAVMA is to serve as a voice and advocate for the field by creating opportunities for members. WAVMA will be developing professional continuing education programs as well.
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) - Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, and founded in 1954, the AAEPs almost 10,000 members are veterinarians and students from 61 countries. The association's mission is to improve the health and welfare of the horse, and to further the professional development of its members.
  • American College of Veterinary Surgeons - The mission of the college is to advance the art and science of surgery and to promote excellence through research, education and public service. The college was founded in 1965 and administers certification examinations for the designation of Diplomate.
  • American College of Veterinary Pharmacology - This specialty board is recognized by the AVMA. The main objective of the college is to advance the discipline of clinical pharmacology as a specialty. The college administers certification for individuals seeking the designation of Diplomate in veterinary pharmacology.
  • American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) - The ACVP is an association of board certified veterinary pathologists. The college was founded in 1949 and has been promoting excellence in the field since. The college is responsible for certification of veterinary pathologists.
  • World Small Animal Veterinary Association - This association, whose membership is comprised of various organizations from around the world, is concerned with the health and welfare of companion animals. The goal of the association is to "foster exchange of scientific information between individual veterinarians and veterinary organizations."
  • American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) - The AVDC is the clinical specialist organization for veterinary dentists and is recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties of the AVMA. The AVDC administers the credentialing of individuals seeking the designation of Diplomate of Veterinary Dentistry.

Veterinary Science Open Courseware

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or Open Courseware are online undergraduate, graduate and continuing professional education courses that are offered online at no cost. The courses are often available from top tier universities that most students do not have access to. These courses are not a substitute for credit courses, but are a great adjunct to your existing coursework.

  • Human Animal Relationships - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine of Tufts University offers this course, which explores the complex relationships of non-humans who live in, nearby, or removed from human communities. While the course is focused on the role of veterinarians it does tackle the topic from a wider perspective.
  • Animal Management and Production l - This course, from the University of Saskatchewan, provides a foundation for the knowledge, welfare, behavior and nutrition of common animal species. The course includes the common management practices of different animal industries.
  • Cattle Management - Utah State University offers this undergraduate course in managing cattle under drought conditions. The course examines how severe drought conditions affect cattle ranching, including the health of cows and calves. Students are introduced to the balancing of vitamins, minerals and proteins to produce a healthy herd.
  • Animal Behavior - World renowned school, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presents this course, which encompasses the major categories of adaptive behavior seen in all animals. The course progresses from the evolution of behavior to the study of brain evolution. The roles of plasticity are considered, as well as foraging and feeding.
  • Dog Examination Techniques - The University of Nottingham hosts this course, which introduces veterinary students to the process of a systematic examination of canine patients. This is an introductory course and is intended to only provide a framework from which students develop and refine their skills.

Open Access Journals

Professional journals are peer-reviewed periodicals. The journals listed in this section are all open access and available online at no charge. They are a great source for the most current research and reviews in the field of veterinary medicine.

  • American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences - This peer-reviewed, quarterly journal focuses on the biology of animals. The objective of the journal is to increase the scientific understanding of how animals work from the physiology and biochemistry of tissues and organs to the function of biomolecules and cells. Emphasis is placed on studies of the growth and reproduction of farm and companion animals.
  • Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine (OJVM) - An international journal, the OJVM is committed to the advancement of veterinary medicine. The journal accomplishes its goal by providing a platform for scientists and academics from around the world to share, promote and discuss the latest developments in the disciplines within veterinary medicine.
  • Veterinary Medicine International - This journal publishes peer-reviewed research and review articles regarding all areas of veterinary medicine and science. This journal also produces special issues focused on single topics such as Respiratory Diseases of Small Ruminants.
  • Veterinary World - Veterinary World is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes high quality and novelty papers on veterinary science. Topics include parasitology, bacteriology, virology, nutrition, surgery and epidemiology. Livestock, animal companions, horses and laboratory animals are all discussed.
  • Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology (JVST) - Published by the Department of Frontier Veterinary Medicine of Kagoshima University in Japan, JVST covers the latest research developments in veterinary science and related academic fields. Topics covered include nutrition, physiology and behavior, diagnosis, treatment and prevention and animal diseases in both wild and domestic populations.
  • Open Veterinary Journal - This is an open access journal that is freely available online and in print. The journal publishes original research, short communications, review articles and case reports in all areas of veterinary medicine and related subjects.
  • Veterinary Research - Focused on infectious disease, this peer-reviewed, open access journal publishes high quality and novel research and review articles. All aspects of infectious disease and host pathogen interaction in animals are covered.

Veterinary Science Books

The study and practice of veterinary medicine can benefit from reading books that complement existing coursework. This section features well regarded titles, all of which are likely to be of significant benefit to students and practicing professionals alike.

  • Merck Veterinary Manual - This 10th edition is the most comprehensive reference for veterinary professionals. It contains hundreds of color images, including illustrations, photomicrographs, radiographic, ultrasonographic and endoscopic images on 3,000 pages. Merck Veterinary Manual is an indispensable reference for the study of dogs, cats and other domestic animals.
  • Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook - Donald Plumb's seventh edition handbook is widely considered the most complete source of drug information available for veterinary professionals. The handbook provides dosing recommendations in each monograph. A wide variety of species are covered, including dogs, cats, livestock and exotic animals.
  • Small Animal Internal Medicine - Richard Nelson and Guillermo Couto, both doctors of veterinary medicine, present hundreds of images to help readers recognize, diagnose and treat common internal disorders and conditions. Using step-by-step guides to describe commonly performed procedures, this is an easy-to-read guide to internal medicine.
  • The Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine - Barb Crabbe, DVM, along with illustrator, Kip Carter, created this guide to horse medicine. As large and strong as horses are, they are almost equally delicate and injury-prone creatures who often require swift treatment. Written primarily for owners, this volume is packed with enough information to make it a valuable addition to veterinarians whose practice is companion animals.
  • The Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook - This helpful guide allows veterinary students to find vital information fast, especially when every second counts. This handy edition provides immediate access to accurate and practical information. Covering 21 subjects, the nerdbook has handy headers, tables and charts, and places an emphasis on subjects of vital importance in day to day treatment.
  • Veterinary Herbal Medicine - This book contains more than 120 monographs on medicinal plants, including how to formulate remedies to treat common diseases. Presented in full color, this is a practical, evidence-driven guide that offers information on toxicology, drug interactions, quality control and more.

Online Veterinary Magazines

Unlike journals, the magazines in this section are trade or specialty publications that focus on veterinary medicine.

  • Veterinary Practice News (VPN) - This is a monthly business to business publication for veterinarians and their support staff. VPN is written by reporters who specialize in the veterinary industry and in vet related news.
  • Bovine Veterinarian Magazine - This is the only magazine specifically directed at veterinarians who devote most of their time to bovines. The magazine provides leading-edge information intended to assist veterinarians to improve the marketing of their skills to beef and dairy producers.

Veterinary Blogs

  • Journey of an ER Veterinarian - This is an interesting blog written by an emergency veterinarian. It contains real-life stories intended to inspire and entertain veterinarians and their supporters.
  • AVMA@Work - This is the blog of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and includes commentary and posts on a wide range of subjects of interest to veterinarians.
  • Paw Curious - This is a lifestyle blog for vets by a vet. Written by veterinarian and busy mother, Dr. V, the blog features humor and insight to the day-to-day world of veterinary medicine.
  • PVM Blogs - Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine hosts this blog for veterinarians and veterinary students. The blog posts cover a variety of topics.
  • The Cutting Edge - Published by Veterinary Practice News, this blog is by Dr. Phil Zeltzman, a mobile board certified surgeon in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Who to Follow on Twitter

Twitter has changed the way we communicate and share thoughts and ideas. Staying on top of the latest news and trends in veterinary medicine is all the easier thanks to the platform. Here are a few of the most important feeds to follow:

  • @AVMAvets - The official feed of the American Veterinary Medicine Association
  • @TAMUVETMED - The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  • @FDAanimalhealth - News from the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine
  • @tuftsvet - Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine tweets news and events.