The first step to become a veterinary neurologist is to become a veterinarian, which takes many years of schooling. You should have an interest in sciences early in your school career because this will prepare you for many of the college courses that you will need to take in order to successfully become a veterinary neurologist. Some students choose to work part time at veterinary clinics in order to familiarize themselves with animals and the industry. All of these steps will prepare you for college coursework and veterinary school. Before choosing a school, you should research various programs that offer coursework in pre-veterinary studies.
Although you are not required to take pre-veterinary courses in order to be admitted to veterinarian school, you may want to consider these types of programs to enhance your knowledge of animal sciences. Once you have chosen an accredited university, you will need to complete all necessary prerequisites before registering for advanced coursework. Undergraduate studies in animal science or other related topics will consist of a mixture of math and science that is needed to become a veterinary neurologist. During this time, you should remain involved in volunteer work or employment at an animal clinic because experience is essential for entering this profession.
Once you have received a bachelor's degree, preferably in zoology, animal science, entomology, wildlife management, or similar science degrees, you will need to apply to veterinarian school. Most students apply to several schools to keep their options open and increase chances of acceptance. Graduate veterinarian programs are designed to teach general practices and procedures for veterinarians. Coursework may include clinical bio-statistic, current topics in veterinary clinical sciences, statistical methods for biology, and thesis coursework. Once you have completed the necessary coursework and received a master's degree, you will need to participate in a two or three year residency program that focuses veterinary neurology.
A residency program is the final step needed to become a veterinary neurologist and will train you specifically in medical and surgical neurology. This is the hands-on training that will be needed to become a veterinary neurologist, and high marks in this program will be important to future employers. In order to practice, most jurisdictions require that you have relevant degrees in addition to the licensing and certification that a residency program provides. You will also need to have excellent communication skills, good hand-eye coordination, patience, and technical writing abilities.