Tackling the U.S. Food Animal Veterinarian Shortage: NIFA’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program
Oklahoma Farm Report
03 Jun 2021
In a recent Blog by Danielle Farley, Social Science Specialist, NIFA she writes about the Vet shortage we are seeing across America.. See below:
Food animal veterinarians are critical to maintaining a healthy, secure, and safe food supply. Today, there is a critical shortage of food animal veterinarians in both private and public practice, particularly in rural communities in the U.S. and insular areas.
Food animal producers rely on veterinarians with expertise in animal medicine and surgery as well as advanced training in herd health, diagnostic medicine, epidemiology, public health, and food safety.
One cause for this shortage is the high cost of professional veterinary medical education. Graduates of veterinary colleges typically have, on average, student loan debt greater than $150,000. The high cost of veterinary education leads many new graduates to choose lucrative career paths such as small animal medicine.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) provides approximately $7.6 million per year in funding to help eligible veterinarians offset a significant portion of debt incurred in pursuit...