Concerns about the Future of Veterinary Medicine


I’m one of the old guys now. After practicing thirty years, I think I can safely say that. It’s not going to be easy for the new veterinarians. At this point in time there is a reported 12.5% unemployment for new graduates from veterinary school. These people have pursued their life’s dream to become a veterinarian only to be saddled with monumental debt and many out of work or working at jobs that they never dreamed they would have to take.

It doesn’t look good on the horizon either. Six new veterinary schools are slated to open up in the next couple of years. What that tells me is that there is a lot of money in veterinary EDUCATION. But, what is going to happen to those that pay the money and then have low salaries and crappy jobs? No, it’s not all about the money. For those of us in this field it is a calling. There are easier ways to make a living. I could love my pets and other animals and not deal with euthanasias, emotional clients, and difficult business decisions daily. I was good enough in school to pick what I wanted to do for a living.

I do not want my pets cared for in my retirement years by people who are not the cream of the crop, but could pay for the degree. Veterinary medicine has a history of accepting only the best students. The dramatic increase in the number of student slots available will no doubt affect the quality of the student. Is this in the best interest of our pets??

I am not the wise one with all the answers. What I do know is that opening new schools and graduating more veterinarians is going to make the problem worse. As it stands now, there are reports of new graduates going back to school to pursue a different career in order to get a job. What a shame. The leaders of my profession need to get a handle on this problem and actually take a stand. Please.