New graduates face a brave new world - DVM
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New graduates face a brave new world
Fewer practice buyers, growing student debt, postponed retirements are concerns


A time of change

Consider this excerpt from DVM Newsmagazine Editor Daniel R. Verdon's blog (

"This profession is going through some fascinating changes. And many of the issues/problems surfaced officially during the recent DVM Newsmakers' Summit at CVC East in Baltimore.

For the first time, surveys show declining interest in practice ownership among associates. I know; it's not a new trend, but it is getting progressively worse. Just 43 percent of associates have interest in ownership. This statistic ranks as the lowest in the survey's history (beginning in the early 1990s).

Simultaneously, educational debt has been climbing at staggering rates. Dr. James F. Wilson, of Priority Veterinary Consultants in Yardley, Pa., reports that some veterinary graduates are taking on debts exceeding $200,000; some are even up to an eye-watering $400,000. The average for new veterinary grads is thought to be closing in on $1,400 a month over 10 years.

In a study by Dr. Allan Kelly et al., professor and dean emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school, something like 40 percent of veterinary graduates are pursuing advanced study.

Now, throw in the recession.

The DVM Newsmagazine survey shows a significant drop in those practices seeking to hire associate veterinarians in the next two years... The veterinary profession has been amazingly resilient — another testament to the power of the human-animal bond."

It will be interesting to see how those who go on for advanced study fare in an even more crowded market a few years from now.

However, seldom has our profession been battered on two fronts: increasing graduates and a declining economy.

To our new graduates, well-deserved congratulations. Tough times seldom last in our profession.

Somehow, those who persevere will get through them. Somehow those who have already persevered for 40 or 50 years will find a way to solve their re-defined retirement problems. Somehow.

Dr. Snyder publishes Veterinary Productivity, a newsletter for practice productivity. He can be reached at 112 Harmon Cove Towers Secaucus, NJ 07094; (800) 292-7995;
; fax: (866) 908-6986.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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