Kansas program to increase rural DVMs

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Jul 01, 2006

MANHATTAN, KAN. — A new law will award students $20,000 annually for up to four years for participating in the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed the bill into law and will allow five veterinary students per year to participate in the Kansas State University (KSU) program.

Authorities hope these incentives will sway graduates to locate a practice in rural Kansas communities and work with livestock.

"Kansas is the first state to award funds before graduation, says Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of KSU's veterinary college. "Other states have passed legislation for debt forgiveness, but with our program, students are given $20,000 when they are accepted," Richardson adds. "We want to be the leading university in large animal veterinary care."

Students can work in a mixed practice after graduation as long as they are serving the livestock industry in an area with less than 35,000 population, Richardson says.

The fall class of 2006 will be the first to enter the rural DVM program.

"Students who decide not to follow through with practicing in a rural area after graduation will be required to repay the scholarship at prime plus 2 percent," Richardson says.

Those involved with the program will take a special summer course working with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control focusing on foreign animal disease and issues of public health.