National Academy of Sciences veterinary workforce study delayed for the sixth time

National Academy of Sciences veterinary workforce study delayed for the sixth time

May 27, 2011
By staff
Washington — A long-awaited National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study on veterinary workforce trends has been delayed again. The report is “tentatively scheduled” for release sometime this summer.

Jennifer Walsh, a media officer for the NAS/National Research Council, says a specific date for the release of the report, titled “Assessing the Current and Future Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,” has not been set.

It’s been more than four years since the National Research Council began work on the $600,000 study, which was originally slated for completion in just 18 months. The study's goal was to examine the present and future veterinary workforce needs. The delay comes in the wake of a new committee report from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) questioning the shortage of veterinarians in most rural areas. In contrast, the Veterinarian Services Investment Act, which has been widely endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), was reintroduced in the U.S. Congress. This legislation would offer competitive grants for veterinarians to work in rural large-animal or mixed-animal practices or public health.

The NAS study was commissioned to examine the kinds of jobs available to veterinarians and assess future demand for veterinarians in existing and new sectors. Current and future veterinary school capacity was also going to be analyzed, along with an assessment of the nation's veterinary schools' capabilities in training future veterinarians.

A final report promises to contain the study findings, as well as options for meeting society's future needs as it relates veterinary manpower.