Death to debt: Veterinarians are not alone in the debt debacle - DVM
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Death to debt: Veterinarians are not alone in the debt debacle
Lessons from human medicine shed light on veterinary student debt.


Looking ahead

Fresne realizes the full impact that the debt figures have on the future of medicine. "We want to make sure that we have a diverse group of people practicing medicine and enough physicians ... and veterinarians," she says. "As the owner of three pets, I don't want to think that there may be no (veterinarians) to take care of them!"

Rest easy, Ms. Fresne—when your Labrador retriever raids the trash can or your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, we'll be here to help—at a substantially reduced cost compared to anything your medical students could come up with. And when your kitty sinks his teeth into our hands, be amazed as we continue to smile and provide pleasant, courteous service. It's what we do.

Those who are serious about managing their debt and finances should also check out the personal financial management tools at This online resource allows you to create an account and populate it with all of your accounts: bank, credit cards and even your student loan accounts. You can see all of your accounts, transactions and net worth in real time, in one place. They also have a useful (and free) app that makes checking in even easier. I look at my accounts daily in less time than it would take to thumb through paper statements or log onto each online account individually.

And that's an important part of the battle. Seeing the debt every day makes it more real, and watching the interest grow the loan balances will give you a little more sense of urgency to get things done. Check it out.

Veterinary medicine is and will continue to be a dream career. Let's live the dream and not be overly burdened by the debt. Paying it back quickly will require some paying attention, initiative and creativity. And let's hope that our profession's leaders will identify the problems and begin taking some real measures to prevent this issue from restricting the future of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Jeremy Campfield works in emergency and critical care private practice in Southern California. He is also an avid kiteboarder.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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