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Persons employed in this occupation in the United States:
2004: 60,500
Projected 2014: 71,100

Persons employed in this occupation in Iowa:
2002: 1,170
Projected 2012: 1,380

2004 Median National
Annual Wages: $68,300
2004 Median Iowa
Annual Wages: $57,000

***Source: America's Career InfoNet

If you were a veterinarian, which of the following would you like the least:
Delivering baby animals.
Walking around in animal pens.
Giving animals shots.
Being bitten or kicked by animals.
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Even though she didn't enjoy science, Rexanne took as many science classes in high school as she could to help her achieve her goal of becoming a veterinarian. The high school biology, chemistry and physics classes did, in fact, make her three and a half years of pre-veterinary studies at Kansas State University much easier. During her undergraduate years she studied classes like biology, botany and zoology before continuing at Kansas State University for four more years of veterinary medicine.

Work Experiences and Internships:

In high school, Rexanne worked summers as a recreation assistant and a horse riding camp counselor. She credits both of these experiences with helping develop her communication skills. During her undergraduate years she was a resident assistant in a dormitory and while in veterinary school she was a night and weekend intern who handled emergency veterinary calls. After college she was recruited to work with a rural veterinarian and today she owns that very practice. By law she is required to take 60 hours of continuing education every three years.

Activities and Organizations:

In high school, Rexanne participated in biology, science and math clubs after school as well as intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball and gymnastics. In college, she was involved in the pre-veterinary club and a horse club, Block and Bridle.

Setbacks and Obstacles:

Unlike today, during the time Rexanne began pursuing her career, there were not a lot of females in the veterinary profession. Rexanne's grandfather told her, "That's no job for a woman." Fellow high school students laughed at her when she talked about her veterinary career plans. Some of her first professional clients were uneasy around her. Any of these obstacles could have made Rexanne change her goals to focus on a more socially accepted career. Her persistence and hard work proved to them and herself that a successful veterinarian could be either a woman or a man.


Rexanne's fascination with animals and their well-being has been a continuing motivation throughout her life. In addition, her parents were always very supportive of the decisions she made, and they never discouraged her from pursuing any of her goals.


Dreams can be influenced or changed dramatically by events or experiences encountered in life. Although Rexanne had always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, her first nose-to-nose meeting with a cow was a life-changing experience. From that moment on, Rexanne dreamed specifically of becoming a large animal veterinarian.

Next: A day in the life of a Veterinarian.



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