What to Expect in a Veterinary Course in Malaysia

March 15, 2022


Veterinarian with a dog.

Watching animal rescue videos is my favourite pastime. I feel warm and happy when animals find their furever home! 

Do you know that veterinarians, or doctors for animals play an integral role in making sure these animals get their treatment?

What is a veterinary course in Malaysia?

Similar to humans, animals and pets get sick or injured and require treatment from a veterinarian, or ‘vet. 

Vets treat them using medicine, medical equipment, surgical tools, and various other machines. To master these skills, you must first study a veterinary course in Malaysia.

A degree in veterinary typically takes 5 years to complete. You can check out the course details here: Veterinary Medicine in Malaysia

Following that, you need to apply for a license issued by the Malaysian Veterinary Council (MVC) to practice as a vet. More on that later. 

Are veterinarians in demand in Malaysia?

The answer is always a yes.

Look around the next time you visit a park. Chances are, you will notice at least half of the people there hanging out with their pets. These pets require occasional checkups and treatments from a veterinarian. 

With a veterinary degree in Malaysia, you have plenty of opportunities in private practice and corporate sales, depending on the sector that you venture into.

What to expect in a veterinary course in Malaysia

Grey and white cat at a veterinary clinic.

Studying to become a veterinarian takes more than just your unconditional love for animals. It takes skills, time, and the ability to perform under pressure, to name a few. 

So, what can you expect while training to become the animals’ favourite vet?

1. It is a difficult path but rewarding nonetheless.

If your love for animals only extends to fluffy cats and dogs, you’re in for a surprise.

A veterinary degree requires you to understand the anatomy and physiology of other animal groups, such as reptiles, birds, amphibians, and even marine animals. Furthermore, you will learn about other science-heavy subjects:

  • Microbiology
  • Diseases
  • Nutrition
  • Internal medicine
  • Surgery

Veterinary student checking a tortoise.

On top of that, you must be able to distinguish male and female animals and identify appropriate treatments for them. The process may be difficult, but finally being able to help animals is the best part of the course and career!

2. You’re picking up a lot of clinical skills.

Two veterinarians treating a bird.

Just like doctors who treat humans, your role as a vet requires clinical skills in order to diagnose and treat your patients.

You’re picking up a wide range of knowledge that covers different species of animals. Treatments also require hands-on skills, as you are expected to perform surgeries, x-rays, ultrasounds and more. 

Hence, clinical skill training is more of a full-time learning experience as you will have to constantly update your knowledge and skills even after graduation to meet current trends and demands.

3. Be prepared for a long journey of learning.

It takes about 5 years to complete your degree in veterinary, that is, if you finish all your subjects and pass all examinations within the semesters

According to the Doctor of Veterinary Programme offered by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), there are 2 phases of Professional Examinations in which students are required to pass to graduate.

Failing the first Professional Examination may even result in failing the entire programme! Therefore, it is common for students to extend their semesters to have more time to study.

4. Your patients cannot express their feelings in words.

Dog owner talking to a veterinarian.

Unlike treating humans where communication is easy, your patients are animals that can’t express their discomfort and pain in words

This is where your analytical and veterinary skills come into play. As a vet, you have to observe the animals for symptoms and communicate with pet owners to find out their medical history. 

5. Be mindful of your mental health.

As you move forward and become a full-fledged veterinarian, you might encounter terminally ill or gravely injured animals.

Owners may have to make a difficult decision to euthanise their pets, a humane procedure carried out by vets to put animals down in order to end their suffering.

The act of putting down animals can be traumatising for some veterinarians, and some even reported developing depression due to the stress.

It is important for vets to keep their mental health in check by talking to people they trust, such as family members or a therapist.

6. Malaysia has two renowned universities that offer veterinary degrees.

There are two universities in Malaysia that are renowned for their veterinary courses, which are accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA): 

University Putra Malaysia (UPM) 

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Master in Veterinary Medicine
  • Master in Veterinary Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

The average fee is estimated to be RM 3,000 to RM 8,000 per semester.

7. You need an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) to continue your practice.

Certified veterinarian checking a koala.

As a qualified veterinarian in the country, you will be given an official registration number under the National Veterinary Register. 

Then, to open a clinic and continue your practice as a vet in Malaysia, you must apply to be a registered veterinary surgeon under the Malaysian Veterinary Council (MVC), get an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) and renew it every year.

8. You can potentially earn up to RM 6,000 a month (or more).

Depending on your experience, level of education, and choice of career, you can earn more than RM 6,000 a month. Career prospects include:

  • Veterinary surgeon
  • Marine biologist
  • Wildlife veterinarian
  • Livestock inspector
  • Veterinary scientist

Read more about vet salaries and careers.

Pursuing higher education doesn’t have to be daunting. Below you will find some articles to get you started. Good luck!

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