Veterinary Physiologist

Conduct medical research on or about animals.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $145,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Veterinary Physiologists do?

A Veterinary Physiologist performs research on animals by studying their organs and body systems. There are many opportunities in the field because Veterinary Physiologists conduct research on a wide range of topics—anything from cancer cells in sheep to the breathing functions of fish. Because there are so many options, you specialize in one area. Common fields of study for Veterinary Physiologists include anatomy, organ function, reproduction, and disease.

You study the systems of one animal and apply it to another. For example, you might research the way a horse’s muscles get inflamed when it exercises, and find herbs or fruits that reduce the inflammation. Then you apply those findings to professional human Athletes.

You also study the diseases of animals, how they are affected by different treatments, and what natural behaviors the animals use to keep disease at bay. With your research, Veterinarians are better able to treat diseases because they understand how the treatment affects the body. Additionally, you help discover medications that enhance the animal’s health.

There are so many systems to study that it’s hard to identify them all. Whether you research one type of animal, or the systems of several species, you might focus on digestion, mating rituals, muscles, pain, fatigue, or foraging.

Although some of those seem more psychological than physiological, a bodily function or dietary need nearly always drives the physical act. Your job is to find out what that need is. And every time you do, you add to the database of knowledge about animals and the science behind them.

Should I be a Veterinary Physiologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Animal Physiologist, Veterinary Anesthesiologist

    How to become a Veterinary Physiologist

    Most Veterinary Physiologists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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