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- The Cost of Becoming an Equine Veterinarian?
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Wayne Watkins T eaching Points: If you like animals and science you might want to consider being a veterinarian. Animal health care is in many ways similar to human health care, but with a few differences.
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Veterinarians also have the opportunity to specialize either in large or small animals as well as marine mammals or zoo species. After several years of sparse job opportunities for equine practitioners, recently more openings have become available as practices see resumed demand for services and older veterinarians retire. As these older doctors leave the workforce over the next decade, there should be increasing demand for young associates.
However, according to a study by the National Research Council, the need for new equine veterinarians was projected to be only per year nationally. When looking at new veterinarians, of the 16, that graduated in , only 1. It is likely that demand for new equine vets will continue to grow very slowly in the short term, and it is not likely that all veterinarians seeking a career in equine practice will find jobs waiting in the near future.
Supply exceeds demand in this area of practice. Not surprisingly, this keeps salaries prices lower. Ordinarily supply and demand interact through pricing to come to equilibrium, where supply equals demand. In veterinary medicine, this is not happening.
Young people who dream of being equine vets continue to follow those dreams, despite the challenges. High student debt and low starting salaries have been headline news in recent years, but what is the real story?
This is a subject that affects veterinarians of all ages and stages, so we all need to pay attention. Increased demand for veterinary school education continues despite rising tuition and salaries inadequate to support the debt incurred to earn the degree.
Equine ER: A Year in the Life of an Equine Veterinary Hospital
Because of these human factors, a solution to the problem is not likely to spontaneously arise through the economic principles of supply and demand. In equine practices, associate compensation is often in the form of a base salary with a production bonus after sufficient revenue is earned. Associates are limited in their ability to earn more revenue due to the weak demand for services.
Increasing class size diminishes the earning potential and therefore the value of a veterinary medical degree, yet the cost of the degree continues to escalate. The cost of the veterinary degree goes up while the value of a veterinary degree goes down and students continue to purchase degrees on borrowed money.
There were 2, students answering the AVMA Survey of graduates who indicated their levels of debt upon graduation: Graduating with no debt whatsoever was reported by a lucky Overall, How does this compare to the situation in the past? In equine practice, the debt-tostarting salary ratio increased from 1. This means the average debt of graduating veterinarians in was about the same as their starting salaries.
Increases in starting salaries grew the slowest in equine practice during this year period, increasing just 2. Despite this trend, numbers of new veterinarians entering equine practice grew during the five years preceding the study. Many, if not most, of the jobs available in equine practice now require completion of an internship, which was not the case in the past.
- Sarah Gray.
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Approximately equine internships are offered in the U. The rest become the newest cadre of equine associates. It is important for graduates to make active management of educational debt a priority. The AVMA recommends visiting www. The first is through consolidation, where multiple loans are replaced with a single loan. Consolidation provides access to alternate repayment plans, which reduce the monthly payment by stretching out the loan term but increase the total cost of the loan.
According to the AVMA website, there are four main repayment plans for federal education loans. Each of three alternatives has a lower monthly payment than Standard Repayment, but extends the term of the loan and increases the total amount of interest repaid over the lifetime of the loan. Standard and Extended Repayment plans assume that the loan will be repaid in equal monthly installments through standard loan amortization.
Do not delay! If you wait to call your veterinarian, the problem could possibly progress and become worse. A few of the conditions Thal says require immediate care include colic, choke, foaling problems, eye problems, severe lameness, and complicated wounds—especially those located near joints. Once your veterinarian reaches a diagnosis, get options and estimates. Consider transporting your horse to an equine veterinary facility for checkups.
In some cases this is less expensive than the farm call the veterinarian charges to drive all the way to your property. The Bottom Line Horses can and will get hurt or sick. About The Author. Related Posts. Dead space. Search Search for:. Weekly Poll:.
Do you give your horse probiotics, and if so, what for? Yes, to treat or prevent diarrhea. Yes, to aid in digestion and prevent gastric ulcers. Yes, to provide important nutrients. Yes, prior to travel or other stressful events.
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