Veterinary medicine is a field where the practitioner plays a major role in the healthcare of pets, livestock, as well as zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals. Consequently, it is readily apparent that this profession offers a plethora of specializations. Veterinarians often require even broader training than their human-care counterparts due to the wide range of species the practitioner may have to treat. All practicing veterinarians graduated with a D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree from a four year program at an accredited college of veterinary medicine and had to obtain licensure. Currently, only 28 colleges of veterinary medicine exist in the United States; with a limited number of institutions and a growing applicant pool, competition is quite fierce.