DVM Newsmakers' Summit: Supply in demand? - DVM
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DVM Newsmakers' Summit: Supply in demand?
Veterinarian shortage looms as demands change, experts say


Unfortunately or fortunately, there is the work-force expansion act from Sen. Wayne Allard that would give us more money for buildings and supposedly more slots for veterinarians. Unfortunately, what is going to happen is we are just going to attract the same types into our veterinary schools. Where are we going to get people with diverse attitudes toward veterinary medicine? We don't know, but I would suggest that it could come from foreign graduates.

Dr. David Lane
At the same time, we've erected all these barriers to foreign graduates. But we need to actually take some of these barriers down so we can get some of these people in because I would estimate they're all coming in from the large-animal side outside the United States. Many of them will want to go into foreign service, and I agree completely that we're not going to get this diversity through the veterinary schools. They're underfunded for the most part, and we need to seriously look overseas to solve this particular supply issue.

Dr. King: That might be partially right. And I will tell you that students being admitted into veterinary colleges actually reflect the applicant pool. Until we do something with the applicant pool, the admission process really doesn't make a lot of difference to make subsequent changes. So the applicant pool are young students who see veterinary medicine out of the eyes of Animal Planet. They don't really see the opportunities or diverse possibilities for the veterinary profession, so that's one of the things we really need to work on.

There are 10,000 veterinary students in training. So, if you want to make a difference, then that group of 10,000 is a pretty good area to focus on. Three years ago we had two colleges of veterinary medicine that had former programs in public health.

Today, based on what we're doing in veterinary education, there are 17 colleges and schools of veterinary medicine that actually have relationships with schools of public health and dual programs in MPH.

Two months ago, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had 300 veterinary students and faculty come to Atlanta on their own time to understand more about opportunities in public health. We had to cap attendance because we had too many students. So it gives you an idea of what can be done in terms of possibilities, if we could take 20 percent of each year's graduating class, which would be 2,500.

I would also suggest that we'll see a number of graduates from our veterinary schools go overseas. I guess if I were a young veterinarian, I would look at specializing and having a practice in Vienna or Sydney, Australia; and licensing in terms of international issues, that's exactly what's going to be happening so I'm not so sure that's going to be a supply and demand issue.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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