We have to move on from our loans and thrive
I have come to know Southward as a brilliant, progressive practitioner whose immense knowledge and skills are still rare amongst
our peers. Quite simply, we need more veterinarians like her. My personal worry is that we will not be able to attract these
types of individuals if we are not providing a return on the extreme commitment it takes to reach that level of practice.
It's tough to argue with tradition, and tradition dictates that veterinarians take their financial lumps when pursuing advanced
training. However, those first few years after graduation, when this training is most likely to occur, are when student loan
interest compounds the most dramatically and rapidly grows to crippling proportions.
Our profession must come to terms with the fact that salaries between $20,000 and $30,000 during those important years of
training after veterinary school are unacceptable. This lapse represents a serious setback in our ability to move on from
our loans and thrive as happy professionals. Just because we went through it does not mean we should insist that those behind
us do the same.
As we invite enthusiastic new students to join our profession, we must find solutions to make sure that they have a brighter
future than we did. That is the very principle of nurturing the veterinary profession and securing its future.
Dr. Jeremy Campfield works in emergency and critical care private practice in Southern California.