National Report — As competition heats up on the coasts, Midwestern veterinary graduates may be the target of recruiting efforts, according
to Donald F. Smith, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, Austin O. Hooey Dean Emeritus and professor of surgery at Cornell University's College
of Veterinary Medicine.
Smith outlines the current trends for veterinary graduate placement in his new study, "150th Anniversary of Veterinary Education
and the Veterinary Profession in North America: Part 4, U.S. Veterinary College in 2011 and the Distribution of their Graduates,"
published in a recent edition of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education (JVMA) and co-authored by Melissa S. Fenn, BS, a first-year veterinary student at Cornell.
Competition may start to play an increasing role in the relocation decisions of graduating veterinary students, Smith says.
He explains that the United States is in the midst of a period of significant growth in the number of graduating veterinarians.
There has been a nearly 24 percent increase in the matriculation of veterinary students over the last decade, he notes, with
Iowa State, Mississippi State and the University of Missouri seeing the greatest enrollment increases over a period of 10
For that reason, recruiting efforts may begin to focus on the Midwest, where competition among veterinary students is more
fierce, he says.
Midwestern states tend to have lower populations too. "At those colleges, a lot of graduates tend to go elsewhere to find
jobs in more available areas," Smith says. "Some of the really wonderful practitioners are coming from Midwestern schools,
because Midwestern schools are more competitive for jobs post-graduation. So a practice seeking the best candidate may want
to go out there to seek a new candidate."
And more students today are preparing for a career that will require a wide variety of skills, he says. One surprising element
among today's veterinary student is their willingness to pursue mixed-animal studies, Smith says.
"I'm impressed at the number of our admitted students who express an interest coming in for mixed practice. It's many more
than I would have imagined. And I get the sense that it's more than a few years ago," Smith says.