What Type Of Education Does A Veterinarian Need?


What Type Of Education Does A Veterinarian Need
Education – Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. A veterinary medicine program generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components.

Admission to veterinary programs is competitive. Applicants to veterinary school typically have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as biology, Veterinary medical colleges typically require applicants to have taken many science classes, including biology, chemistry, and animal science. Most programs also require math, humanities, and social science courses.

Some veterinary medical colleges prefer candidates who have studied agriculture or have experience working with animals on a farm, at a stable, or in an animal shelter. In veterinary medicine programs, students take courses on animal anatomy and physiology, as well as disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
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What are the best degrees to becoming a veterinarian?

1. How do I know veterinary medicine in the right career for me? The best way to know for sure is to gain exposure to the profession through experiences with practicing veterinarians and/or veterinary researchers. In addition to a sincere concern for animals, an aptitude for science, and good people skills, veterinary school applicants must have a realistic understanding of the veterinary profession. Exploring the profession by shadowing or working for a veterinarian is the best way to learn and understand what is involved in the veterinary profession and whether veterinary medicine is the right career for you.2. Wh e r e can I get further information about a career in veterinary medicine? More information is available from the American Veterinary Medical Association or the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC),3. How can I easily access a list of all of the colleges of veterinary medicine and their requirements? Access the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) website http://www.aavmc.org The Prerequisites Chart for Veterinary Colleges (found on the VASCI website under undergraduate>pre-vet major) indicates the requirements for 30 U.S. schools and 13 foreign schools. The chart includes hyper-links to the requirement list found on each school’s website. The Veterinary College requirements (found on the VASCI website under undergraduate>pre-vet major) for admission lists the prerequisite courses. Additional information can be found in a book published by the AAVMC titled Veterinary Medical School Admission requirements in the United States and Canada (VMSAR), To order this book, visit the AAVMC website, ( http://www.aavmc.org ) 4. How competitive is the applicant pool for veterinary school nationally? There are only 30 colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. Several thousand applicants vie for the approximately 3000 seats available each year. Admission to these programs is extremely competitive so you should strive to exceed the minimum requirements. To get a feel for the competitiveness of the applicant pool, some schools post last year’s entering class statistics; reviewing these statistics for the schools you are interested in will help you to have a better understanding of the requirements and selection criteria. In recent years, UMass graduates have attended Tufts University, Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, Iowa State University and others.5. Can I apply to Vet Schools outside the United States? Yes, there are AAVMC approved colleges of veterinary medicine outside the United States. In recent years, UMass graduates have attended University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Ross University on the island of St. Kitts, St. George’s University on the island of Grenada, Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, and others.6. How can I improve my chances of admission? The admissions committees and counselors will be looking for students who: are academically curious, competent (especially in science course work), and sincerely motivated, have developed time and stress management skills, are community minded and have demonstrated leadership abilities, are effective communicators, have excellent interpersonal communication skills, have demonstrated teamwork ability and who have realistically evaluated their plans for financing their education since demands of the professional curriculum usually preclude part- time employment during school sessions. Students who are interested in veterinary medicine should pursue experience with employment (paid and volunteer), research, clubs and other activities that expose them to the profession and to different species of animals. A variety of veterinary and animal experience is highly recommended.7. I s a Bachelor’s degree required for admission? Most veterinary colleges do not require that a Bachelor’s degree be completed for admissions although most accepted applicants have a Bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) A very few outstanding applicants (1-2 percent) are accepted (to some schools) having completed only the pre-veterinary requirements. The Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine located in Grafton, Massachusetts offers undergraduates enrolled at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst an opportunity to apply to the DVM program in March of their sophomore year. A limited number of students are admitted, and upon acceptance, are guaranteed a space in Tufts veterinary school class after they graduate, if they maintain a minimum 3.4 GPA and take the required prerequisite classes. To be eligible to apply, candidates for this program must be sophomores and must have completed a full year each of introductory biology and chemistry. SAT scores will be evaluated in the place of GRE scores. Freshmen contemplating application to the Early Acceptance Program are encouraged to speak with a pre-veterinary advisor about accruing veterinary medical related experiences. If the applicant is not accepted, the applicant can make an appointment with a Tufts admission counselor in the summer to review his/her application, in order to strengthen it for the next round of veterinary medical school applications. Further information regarding this program can be viewed at the Tufts website. http://www.tufts.edu/vet/academic/earlyacceptance.html,8. Must I complete all required courses before I can apply? All schools allow candidates to apply before completing all required courses (you should be submitting your applications in September of your senior year). An applicant who is admitted without evidence of completion of all requirements will receive a provisional admission. Evidence of satisfactory completion of requirements must be received (at most schools) by July 15 prior to the fall of matriculating in the DVM program.9. Does it matter where I obtain my undergraduate degree? No, but it will be necessary for you to take the required prerequisite courses, and you will need to provide evidence that you can handle a rigorous upper division science curriculum. It would be to your advantage to select an institution that offers the required courses plus additional upper division science courses as part of an undergraduate degree program. The UMass program is specifically designed to meet all the necessary requirements.10. Is th e r e a preferred undergraduate major? Your choice of a degree-oriented major depends on your academic and vocational interests within veterinary medicine and on your alternate career plans. It is possible to fulfill pre- veterinary requirements and at the same time complete departmental requirements for almost any science major; however, students can have any degree as long as they have completed required courses. Since most pre-veterinary students are interested in the biological sciences and/or in working with animals, they tend to major either in sciences applied to working with animals (e.g., animal sciences, wildlife biology) or in basic sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, zoology). Students are encouraged to select a baccalaureate program as early as possible in order to fulfill the requirements of their chosen departmental major. Selection of a major is also important for establishing alternative goals and/or for enhancing specific career options.11. How can I be sure that the courses I take will fulfill the pre-veterinary requirements? The University of Massachusetts Pre-Veterinary Science major curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of most veterinary schools. However, after selection of the school(s) you wish to attend, it is recommended that you consult each school’s catalog or website for specific requirements to ensure that you are meeting all the requirements. If there is a prerequisite listed that UMass does not appear to offer, it is recommended that you check with your academic advisor.12. Is th e r e an advantage in taking more science courses than the minimum prerequisites? The first two years of study in veterinary medicine consist of challenging science course work. Students will find it beneficial to have had as much science course work in their undergraduate studies as possible, especially biological sciences.13. Wh a t electives I should take? Suggested electives include: anatomy, physiology, cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, nutrition, immunology, epidemiology, histology, embryology, parasitology, virology, animal reproduction, animal husbandry, toxicology, parasitology, mycology, endocrinology, entomology, bacteriology, zoology, neuroanatomy or neurophysiology. Courses, practica, independent studies and internships that provide specific veterinary practice, animal experience and research experiences are highly recommended. In addition many schools recommend business, computer science, statistics and communications courses. Professional veterinary curriculum is extremely demanding, it is highly recommended that prospective students enroll in challenging undergraduate courses that go beyond the pre- professional requirements; useful courses include comparative anatomy, embryology, and physiology. Superior performance in these kinds of courses will not only enhance the academic image of the applicant, but will also help build a solid base for more detailed courses in the professional veterinary curriculum. Methods of observation and collection of data, evaluation, deduction, and interpretation of findings are extremely important. The analysis and organization of a set of observations into its simple components and synthesis of many fragments of data into a working hypothesis on which a plan of action can be based are critical. The student should keep these objectives in mind throughout pre-professional training. Courses that might be helpful in this area include physics, psychology, and other sciences. Independent study research projects are ideally suited to honing these skills. A high degree of skill in the use of spoken and written language should be developed to communicate a story effectively and accurately, to record facts systematically for the use of others, and to transmit instructions precisely. Proficiency in accurate, rapid, interpretive reading should also be mastered. Courses that might be helpful in this area include English literature, English composition, and foreign languages. The study of foreign languages enhances appreciation of the exact meaning of words and the use of subtle differences in shading.14. In eva lu a ting m y grades, will the fact that I took a heavy course load (honors, non- required challenging courses, etc.) or worked while attending classes be considered? Yes, Admissions Committees understand that there are differences in the way academic histories are established. They will evaluate the quality of each applicant’s academic program as well as grades earned in college courses. Credit load, work load and rigor of curriculum will be considered. Conversely, those who have a pattern of incompletes or withdrawals from difficult courses, who regularly took low credit loads (without concurrently working), or who minimally fulfill requirements, will be acknowledged as having a lower quality of academic program.15. I s there a minimum GPA or GRE requirement? This varies by school. Some schools do set minimum GPA and GRE scores, check the websites. All admissions committees consider the “whole package” (i.e. GPA, GRE scores, animal and pre- veterinary experience, extra-curricular involvement, community service, etc.) Some schools focus on the last 45 semester hours completed because typically, the last 45 hours are composed of upper division courses. Some schools have a formula which is usually outlined in their admissions information. The following is one example: 50 % – Academic History and Experience – Prerequisite GPA, GRE, undergraduate institutionselectivity, academic load, number of withdrawals, research participation, teaching assistant positions, strength of academic references (if any), and academic flags/concerns.25 % – Pre-Veterinary Experience and Preparation – Amount of legitimate pre-veterinary experience, amount of legitimate animal experience, strength of veterinary and animal related references, relationship between references and veterinary/animal experiences.25 % – Overall Professionalism and Readiness to Matriculate – Overall professionalism of the application, strength of written communication skills, extracurricular experiences, community involvement, international experiences, awards and recognitions, non-veterinary or animal related employment experiences.16. Wh a t classes should I take in high school to prepare to be a veterinarian some day? Veterinary Schools will not review your high school records for admission unless you took college courses during high school. However, you should take upper level, honors, A.P. and all college preparation courses necessary for freshman admission into an undergraduate institution. It is important to have a strong background in mathematics, especially pre-calculus and calculus. Veterinary schools are interested in any work (volunteer or paid) you did with animals and/or veterinarians during high school; it is highly recommended that you seek out such work and document/journal this work.17. M u st I have worked for a veterinarian? In choosing applicants, Admissions Committees look for those who have gained an understanding of animals and of the veterinary profession through participation in such activities as 4H, Medical Explorer Scouts, and through paid or volunteer work on farms or ranches, in kennels, animal shelters, laboratories, zoos, aquariums, and/or veterinary clinics. If you are lacking practical experience in working with animals or in the veterinary medical field, it would be to your advantage to acquire the experience as soon as possible. Upon application to veterinary school, a reference from a veterinarian is required by most schools and highly recommended by others. Applicants should become acquainted with a veterinarian who would be able to evaluate motivation toward and understanding of the profession. Most applicants have worked (either for pay or as a volunteer) with a veterinarian in order to gain a realistic perspective of professional veterinary service. You should list all such work experiences on the application even if the work was done voluntarily or for course credit. Keep in mind that veterinarians work in many different settings. Exposure to non-practice careers is also helpful.18. How much pre-vet experience should I have before I apply? This varies by school. Many schools do recommend a minimum number of hours of experience working with veterinarians, preferably in a practice setting. Veterinary medical colleges prefer applicants with an open mind about animal species since their mission is to teach the material that you will be tested on the Veterinary Licensing Exam in your fourth year of veterinary school. Thus, it is a mistake to have two or three out of your three veterinary experiences centered on small animals or horses, even if you think that’s what you will specialize in as a veterinarian. Conversely, if you are interested in a veterinary specialty (e.g. zoo medicine), make sure you gain experience in that area. It is recommended that you diversify your experience by seeking experiences in three of the following four areas: a) Large animal, b) Small animal, c) Wildlife/conservation, d) Laboratory research. Each experience should be at least 200 hours. These experiences can be pursued during the school year or in the summer; it might be easier to find an opening in a veterinary clinic near your home rather than near Amherst, where you’ll be competing with all the other pre-vet students. Summer experiences may also be more exotic (i.e. internship at an aquarium). These experiences are required so that the veterinary colleges are assured that you have a comprehensive grasp of the veterinary medical profession and so that you can cultivate contacts who will write superlative letters of recommendation for you. Document your experiences so that you can fill in details on your applications years later. All types of experience should be included in your application and curriculum vitae – CV, including, but not limited to: paid experience, volunteering, shadowing, etc. The type of experience, level of responsibility, and what the experience taught you about the veterinary profession are all considered in the evaluation. To count toward veterinary experience, you must be under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. If you are not under the supervision of a veterinarian, the experience is considered animal experience.19. Why should I participate in extracurricular activities? Since almost all animals treated by veterinarians have human owners with whom the veterinarian has to communicate effectively, the profession seeks new members who are not only interested in animals, but who also enjoy a high level of contact with people. Involvement outside the classroom in activities such as clubs or in service organizations gives evidence of social skills and enjoyment of social contact with other people, leadership ability, motivation and energy and a desire to serve the community.20. How long will I be attending veterinary medical college? Most veterinary schools require four years of study and practice.21. How much does it cost to attend veterinary school? This varies by school. It is recommended that you check each school’s tuition, fees and scholarship opportunities carefully and consider the cost of housing, transportation, etc. Most schools have different rates for residents or students from states that have contract agreements with the school. The VMCAS website has a good list of suggestions for loans and scholarship opportunities. http://www.aavmc.org/Students-Applicants-and-Advisors/Funding- Education.aspx The following website has current information comparing veterinary school costs. http://www.vinfoundation.org/AppUtil/document/default.aspx?pid=0&catid=&objectid=21833 &objecttypeid=10&redirectFromMiscDefault=1 You can also access these sites: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AuDAmocjP- XddEZFZ096NkxsMkdKVmJsUHZ3MmRqUFE&output=html http://www.vinfoundation.org/AppUtil/document/default.aspx?pid=0&catid=&objectid=21833 &objecttypeid=10&redirectFromMiscDefault=1 Sources: http://www.aavmc.org http://vetmed.iastate.edu/academics/prospective-students/admissions/frequently-asked- questions http://cvm.msu.edu/student-information/dvm-program-admissions/frequently-asked- questions http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/dvm-program/ http://www.vet.cornell.edu/education/ http://education.vetmed.ufl.edu/admissions/ http://www.cvm.msstate.edu/academics/faq_about_admission.html http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/studentservices/admissions-faq. html http://vet.osu.edu/education/professional-dvm-program-admissions http://www.cvm.missouri.edu/prep-undergrad.htm http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/prospectivestudents/Faq.aspx http://prospective.westernu.edu/veterinary/faqs-17/
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Who are the largest employers for veterinarians?

Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × 5 Veterinarians in Industry INTRODUCTION Outside of private practice and corporate animal health care, the majority of private sector jobs for veterinarians are in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, contract research services, animal feeds, and agrochemical industries.

  • Those industries offer a diversity of job opportunities to veterinarians and provide the highest salaries of any category of veterinarian employment, with an average salary of around $167,415 (AVMA, 2011a) 1,
  • Along with the public sector, industry offers the most generous plans for life insurance, pension plan, and medical coverage (AVMA, 2009a).

In 2010, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) counted 3,218 veterinarians (AVMA members and non-members) in the United States who identified themselves as working in private industry jobs. That number is probably an undercount of veterinarians working in industry.

  • However, the total number of veterinarians in industry is not likely a large number.
  • Despite the attractiveness of industry employment, and the primary significance of salary and benefits to graduates of veterinary schools, only 0.1% of recent DVM graduates who responded to a 2010 survey had selected a job in industry, reflecting a similar fraction of surveyed graduates in prior years (Shepherd, 2010).

As discussed in this chapter, a defining feature of veterinarians in industry is the number with advanced training in pathology, toxicology, laboratory animal medicine or other basic sciences, so it might be expected that fewer students take industry jobs immediately after graduation.

  • However, in recent years, the number of diplomates certified in specialties that are most associated with positions in private industry has been less than 50 per year.
  • 1 Salary data are drawn from the biennial AVMA Compensation Survey, which is based on a randomized, stratified sample of employed U.S.
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veterinarians (including AVMA members and nonmembers). The response rate of the survey is about 25%. If DVMs who are more successful are more likely to respond, the reported rate of earnings may exceed actual averages. Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.

  1. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,
  2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  3. Doi: 10.17226/13413.
  4. × Because there are few sources of information on the jobs of veterinarians in industry, the committee endeavored to take a closer look by using the committee members’ knowledge about the kinds of companies in private industry that hire veterinarians.

The committee developed a set of questions and contacted companies across the spectrum of the private industrial sector. Because the companies chosen for the questionnaire were selected on the basis of their familiarity to the committee members, and not through a statistical sampling procedure, the information from responses to the questionnaires cannot be taken as broadly representative of all companies that employ veterinarians.

However, it does provide a “first look” into the kinds of positions that veterinarians fill in companies in private industry and the expertise that those companies find useful. In addition to information from the exploratory questionnaires, the chapter discusses data from other sources on job postings, salaries in industry, and the numbers of new board-certified diplomates in specialties of importance to private industry.

Together they are presented as partial indicators of both demand and supply. TYPES OF INDUSTRY EMPLOYERS Human Health Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies There are over 200 companies worldwide that discover and develop new drugs to improve human health.

  1. In the past, many novel drugs came to light serendipitously, but today drug discovery is a methodical process that begins by exploring the metabolic pathways of a disease or disease agent to identify potential targets upon which a novel compound, or drug, can be designed.
  2. The metabolic targets are detected at the molecular level using methods such as x-ray crystallography, and computer simulations are used to predict the chemical interactions between a particular drug and its targets.

Once a promising drug compound has been designed, it must go through a development phase to evaluate its formulation, dose and safety. Both animal (pre-clinical) and several formal phases of human (clinical) studies are involved in these evaluations, which in the United States is a highly-regulated process.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees drug discovery as well as the manufacturing and marketing of approved drugs. In the past, biotechnology companies were defined by their emphasis on drug discovery, while pharmaceutical companies were better equipped to take candidate drugs through clinical trials, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

However, this trend is changing, as biotechnology firms are evolving into integrated companies, retaining ownership of their developmental compounds and continuing to build in-house sales and marketing functions (Business Insights, 2005). Regardless of their origins, of the large number of new compounds investigated for human use, only a small number of novel drugs—about 25 each year—receive approval.

The time from discovery to marketing a drug is 10-15 years and the costs are significant. The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development estimated that the total costs of bringing one drug to market was $1.2 Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,

Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × billion in 2006 (TCSDD, 2008). However, novel drugs can be very profitable. In 2005, sixteen (16) new blockbuster drugs generated sales of $18.1 billion. The value of the global pharmaceutical market in 2009 was $837 billion, and is forecasted to grow to $1.0 trillion by 2014 (Urch Publishing, 2010).

Animal Health Companies Animal health companies represent three main business areas: veterinary pharmaceuticals and biologicals, veterinary biotechnology, and veterinary diagnostics. Like their counterparts in human drug discovery and development, their activities are highly regulated and must meet the same rigid specifications for safety and efficacy as those for human consumption.

According to the Animal Health Institute (AHI)—which represents 20 animal health companies with a presence in the United States in 2008—the industry spent $670 million for research and development and had U.S. sales of $6.7 billion. On average a new animal drug takes between 7 and 10 years to reach the marketplace and may cost $80-100 million to develop (AHI, 2008).

The AHI asserts that the largest factor influencing the recruitment of veterinarians in this industry is the continuing demand for new drugs for companion animals, being driven in part by consumers. Animal health companies have followed the trend in direct advertising to patients, established by human pharmaceutical companies, which resulted in many more patients requesting brand named drugs from their physicians.

Animal health companies have begun similar advertising on a smaller scale and pet owners are more aware of brand named drugs than they were in the past (AHI, 2008). Animal Feed Companies Animal feed companies manufacture feed for animals, from fish to livestock.

  • Dominated by the pet food industry, these companies engage in clinical testing in the target species to better define the nutritional requirements for animals of different species, different ages, and different disease conditions.
  • Feed companies have also begun to diversify into veterinary diagnostics, biotechnology, crop protection and even the manufacture and sales of human food.

As a result the roles available for veterinarians are as diverse as those for animal health companies. The top 8 U.S.-based companies supplying pet food had domestic sales in 2000 of $11.6 billion (Petfood Industry, 2001). Animal Supply Companies Animal supply companies provide specialized, genetically- and microbiologically-defined laboratory animals, and other services to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, and contract research industries, as well as universities, medical centers and government agencies engaged in biomedical research.

  1. Some companies have also diversified their operations to include re- Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.
  2. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,
  3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  4. Doi: 10.17226/13413.
  5. × search and development of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, human diagnostics, contract management of research animal facilities, and contract research involving toxicology and pathology.

Diagnostic Laboratories Commercial laboratories that provide veterinary diagnostic services for companion-animal medicine and laboratory animal medicine comprise a relatively immature and small industry that is likely to grow in the future. More than 70 such companies were operating worldwide in 2006 (Animal Pharm, 2006).

  1. Reports by the National Research Council identified veterinary diagnostics as a necessary, but underdeveloped, part of the U.S.
  2. National animal health infrastructure that would be important in overcoming a major epidemic, the introduction of an exotic disease in food animals, or an act of agricultural bioterrorism (NRC, 2003, 2005).

Since 2002, the USDA, in collaboration with state and university diagnostic laboratories, has developed the National Animal Health Laboratory Network to directly address this critical need (USDA-APHIS, 2010a). Contract Research/Testing Laboratories Contract research organizations (CROs) provide services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies by performing pre-clinical and clinical trials on new drug candidates.

  • They must abide with the regulations of the FDA and are supplied with animals for testing by animal suppliers.
  • The top 20 CROs worldwide had revenues in 2000 of $7.5 billion with many showing increases from 5-40% over their 1999 revenues.
  • Some CROs have developed businesses in laboratory animal breeding and sales and employ veterinarians in pre-clinical research, safety testing in toxicology and pathology, research animal support and senior management.

Agrochemical Companies Agrochemical companies manufacture herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other pesticides to protect both crops and animals. Worldwide sales of the top 10 agrochemical companies in 2008 was $42 billion with four of the ten companies reporting increases of more than 20% over 2007 (Henderson Communications, LLC, 2009).

INQUIRY OF SELECTED COMPANIES The committee members identified companies familiar to them from across industry sectors that are known to employ veterinarians and developed a questionnaire ( Appendix D ) that would help determine the current veterinary positions in those companies and the companies’ future needs for veterinarians.

Of Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × the 118 companies contacted, 59 responded to the committee’s questionnaire.

  • Those that responded to the inquiry included both industry giants (which employed the largest number of veterinarians) and smaller companies.
  • The companies were divided into the following groups: animal feed, animal health, animal supply, biotechnology, chemicals, CROs, diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals and biologicals ( Table 5-1 ).

These groups closely mimic the categories for employment types used by the AVMA under its sub-group industry/commercial. The companies that responded to the committee’s questionnaire (from here on referred to as respondents) collectively employed a total of 1,527 veterinarians in 2007, about 49% of the 3,125 industry veterinarians that AVMA counted that year (members and nonmembers which, as noted earlier, is likely to be an undercount).

  1. Figure 5-1 shows the average number of veterinarians employed by the respondents according to industrial sector.
  2. Because the respondents are not a statistically-representative sample of the industry, the results should only be viewed as exploratory.
  3. However, the numbers suggest that animal health, CROs, and pharmaceutical companies may be the primary employers of veterinarians in private industry.

TABLE 5-1 Number of Companies that Responded to the Committee Questionnaire, by Industry Sector

Industry Sector Number of Respondents/Number Contacted
Animal feed 6/20
Animal health 9/16
Animal supply 7/16
Biotechnology 10/16
Chemicals 1/2
Contract research 6/8
Diagnostics 3/15
Pharmaceuticals and biologicals 17 /25

FIGURE 5-1 Average number of veterinarians employed per company responding to committee questionnaire, by sector. Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

  • Doi: 10.17226/13413.
  • × Of the 1,527 veterinarians employed by all of the respondents, 65% had an additional graduate degree and/or a board certification beyond the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).
  • Some of the respondents carry out research on animals to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of new products.

Those products may be human drugs, veterinary drugs and biologicals, animal feeds, diagnostic tools, or pesticides. In the case of animal supply companies, the products are themselves animals. Animal research is carried out by clinical veterinarians and diagnosticians, often with board certification in laboratory animal medicine.

Veterinarians with board certification in pathology or toxicology conduct safety testing and toxicology studies, the kinds of activities carried out in CROs. Table 5-2 illustrates the preponderance of veterinarians with advanced degrees in positions related to safety research and laboratory animal medicine, based on CRO responses to the committee’s questionnaire.

In contrast, Table 5-3 displays the responses of animal health companies, in which positions held by veterinarians are more concentrated in clinical and pre-clinical research, as well as in technical and customer service. Not surprisingly, DVMs hold positions in the senior management of both CROs and animal health companies.

Category Degrees/Credentials
DVM only DVM, Boards DVM, PhD DVM, Boards, PhD DVM, MBA Total
Technical/Customer Services
Safety Research/Development-Pathology 22 36 16 21 2 97
Safety Research/Development-Toxicology 63 45 25 27 1 161
Research Support-Lab Animal Medicine 58 23 5 4 2 92
Clinical Research/Development
Preclinical Research/Development
Regulatory Affairs 1 1 1 3
Senior management 9 9 4 4 2 28
Marketing 1 1
Sales 1 1
Other 1
Total 155 114 50 56 8 383

1 Other includes production, project management, business development/alliances, research and post-docs, research in cell therapy, diagnostic and anatomic pathology services. Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.

Category Degrees/Credentials
DVM only DVM, Boards DVM, PhD DVM, Boards, PhD DVM, MBA Total
Technical/Customer Services 143 28 16 1 18 206
Safety Research/Development-Pathology 2 31 33
Safety Research/Development-Toxicology 7 4 11
Research Support-Lab Animal Medicine 8 10 7 25
Clinical Research/Development 80 3 87 13 4 187
Preclinical Research/Development 14 9 2 25
Regulatory Affairs 29 26 1 1 57
Senior management 14 2 11 1 28
Marketing 10 6 16
Sales 8 8
Other 1 9 9
Total 317 43 163 53 29 605

1 Other includes production, project management, business development/alliances, research and post-docs, research in cell therapy, diagnostic and anatomic pathology services Research leading to improvements in animal health usually involves the study of the species of animal expected to be the beneficiary of the intervention.

  1. This requires a broad understanding of animal physiology and pathology across many different species, ranging from fish and poultry to livestock and companion animals.
  2. As research moves from basic to clinical studies, veterinarians continue to be involved in product development, refinement, and ultimately in meeting regulatory requirements for market approval, in most instances, by FDA or USDA.

After a product is available on the market, veterinary expertise is needed to explain the benefits of the product to customers, who might be veterinarians, food-animal producers, or others. One respondent, a large pharmaceutical company (Company A) with an animal health products division, provided the committee with a detailed breakdown of the distribution of the veterinarians employed across the areas of discovery research, product development, regulatory affairs, support services, Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.

  • Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,
  • Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  • Doi: 10.17226/13413.
  • × field/customer support, and marketing and sales ( Table 5-4 ).
  • These areas encompass a great diversity of positions within the company.
  • Interestingly, the majority of the firm’s veterinary workforce (71%) is employed in the business operations side of the company (field/customer support and marketing).

Those veterinarians were the least likely at the company to hold PhDs or board certification, but more likely than those involved in research and development to hold a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree. Company A indicated that the majority of veterinarians it employs had at least 5 years of clinical experience and/or post doctorate training in specialized areas.

That was consistent with the committee’s questionnaire results: private animal health companies are seeking candidates with training and expertise beyond the DVM/VMD. Company A also has a human health division in the United States. It employs more than 60 veterinarians who serve in multiple roles, but in contrast to the animal health division, very few hold positions in business support-related roles.

Table 5-5 illustrates the distribution of veterinarians in its human health division. Most of the positions are for pathologists and require board certification. Research that targets new drugs and biological treatments for human health use fewer animal species but require individuals who can think in terms of biological systems and understand integrative medicine.

Companies that develop drugs for human diseases often model those diseases in genetically-engineered mutant mice, the available varieties of which have increased exponentially over the past two decades. This has increased the demand for veterinarians with specialized knowledge of murine physiology, behavior, and pathology, and also for veterinarians with special knowledge of the care, nutrition, and diseases of mice and how to protect them from the introduction of infectious agents.

Job Vacancies In 2007, Company A indicated that it had 10 open positions for pathologists. The company also sought veterinarians for its pre-clinical, discovery research area and the majority of these positions require post-DVM training in comparative medicine fields (e.g.

  • Board certification in laboratory animal medicine).
  • Many of the other respondents indicated that they were also trying to hire more veterinarians in at least one job category.
  • Table 5-6 reflects the number and types of open positions at the 59 companies that responded to the questionnaire in 2007.
  • Of the 170 open positions, 57% required a degree in addition to the DVM and/or board certification.

The 170 open positions represented 10% of the current veterinary workforce employed by these companies, and while not necessarily representative of the broader trends in industry, suggests a strong future demand for veterinarians. Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.

Area Number of DVMs Percent of all Veterinarians in Company Positions Percentage of Veterinarians with Advanced Degrees
Ph.D. Board Certification Ph.D. and Board Certification MBA Total
Research and Development
Discovery Research 9 4 • Basic Research Scientists • Project Leaders 67 67
Development 34 16 • Clinical Researchers • Project Leaders 32 9 9 9 59
Regulatory Affairs 9 4 • Regulatory Agency Liaison • Pharmacovigilance 22 11 11 44
Support Services 11 5 • Global Registration Support • Pathology • Toxicology • Laboratory Animal Medicine • Clinical Medicine • Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics • Management 18 18 27 63
Business Operations
Field/Customer Support 136 63 • Technical Services/Veterinary Operations • Pharmacovigilance 4 18 9 31
Marketing and Sales 17 8 • Marketing • Sales • Business Development • Strategic Alliances • Management 6 24 30

Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × TABLE 5-5 Veterinarians in the Human Health Division of Company A

Area Number of DVMs Percent of all Veterinarians in Company Positions Percentage of Veterinarians with Advanced Degrees
Ph.D. Board Certification Ph.D. and Board Certification MBA
Pre-Clinical 20 30 Comparative Medicine 15 85
Research Support Laboratory Animal Medicine
Safety Research 43 66 Pathology 10 50 5 5
Regulatory Affairs 2 3 Regulatory Affairs

Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × TABLE 5-6 Open, Full-Time Positions for Veterinarians Advertised in 2007 by Companies that Responded to the Questionnaire

Category Degrees/Credentials
DVM only DVM, Boards DVM, PhD DVM, Boards, PhD DVM, MBA Total
Technical/Customer Services 25 8 33
Safety Research/Development-Pathology 2 8 2 21 33
Safety Research/Development-Toxicology 3 2 1 1 7
Research Support-Lab Animal Medicine 19 5 3 27
Clinical Research/Development 7 4 8 9 28
Preclinical Research/Development 4 7 11 4 26
Regulatory Affairs
Senior management 3 2 5
Marketing 3 3
Sales 7 7
Other 1 1
Total 73 34 24 39 170

Respondents also saw a need to hire more veterinarians in the future, collectively anticipating a total of 463 new position openings between 2008 and 2016 (exclusive of retirements), which represents a 30% increase over the 1,527 currently employed industrial veterinarians reportedly working in those companies.

The majority (70%) of these positions require post-DVM training or degrees, an even higher percentage than previously identified for current employees or currently open positions. Effect of Retirements The respondents reported that an average of 15.7% of the currently employed veterinarians would reach or exceed the age of 65 by the year 2016 (percentages ranged from 0-100%, with the extremes due to companies with very few veterinarians, all or none of whom may reach the age of 65 by 2016).

Based on the 1,527 veterinarians employed by respondents, that represents an additional 240 positions over and above the companies’ current vacancies and anticipated future hiring needs. These figures are in general agreement with other projections of current and future needs for industrial veterinarians.

  • The so-called KPMG study predicted that by 2015, industry could experience a shortfall in veterinarians equal to 24% of its workforce (Brown and Silverman, 1999b).
  • However, just as other sectors of veterinary medicine and the economy at-large have been affected by the recession that began in 2006, it is likely that some of Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.

Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × those veterinarians will delay retirement, thus weakening the demand for replacements. Nevertheless, in a 2008 survey of employers prepared for the College of Veterinary Pathologists, 62.7% of respondents identified the major difficulty in hiring was the limited number of qualified pathologists available (Owens et al., 2008).

  1. Use of Veterinary Technicians Thirty-six of the respondents indicated that they employ veterinary technicians.
  2. The companies, predominantly pharmaceutical firms and CROs, collectively employ 279 technicians, of which 50% are licensed.
  3. A majority of the respondents (71%) indicated that they would use veterinary technicians in the future.
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While veterinary technicians are already used robustly in industry, expanding the use of such technical support might provide more time for veterinarians to perform their professional responsibilities and may overcome shortages in veterinary manpower in the short term.

  • Views on Factors Affecting Future Demand When asked about the factors likely to increase the employment opportunities for U.S.-trained veterinarians in their industry, the respondents provided a list of multiple factors, reflecting various industry trends (see Box 5-1 ).
  • In general, the growth in the overall market and for some respondents, individual company growth, was the key source of demand.

One CRO noted that many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have begun to outsource preclinical studies to reserve valuable in-house resources for activities closer to their core strengths (such as discovery). As a result, CROs are taking on this work, and hiring more U.S.-trained veterinarians as a consequence.

Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × For respondents in the animal health sector, the increasing sophistication of customers has resulted in higher expectations for, and demands of, the products they purchase.

Food-animal customers want increased scientific and financial evidence to prove the value of animal health products in their increasingly complex operations. Therefore, veterinarians with a keen knowledge of food-animal production (at the level of a herd versus individual animals) are needed to educate customers in how to utilize new products and to demonstrate the financial value of products in large scale production systems.

Similarly, as companion-animal owners are willing to expend resources for animal health products, there is greater demand for innovative products that prevent, control and treat diseases or improve a companion animal’s quality of life. Thus, in this sector there will continue to be an increased need for veterinarians in key areas of discovery and product development but also those with board certification in targeted areas to provide practicing veterinarians with field-based support as more technologically complex companion-animal products are introduced into the marketplace (for example, obesity and oncology drugs).

Moreover, as the technologic complexity of products being introduced into both food- and companion-animal marketplace is increasing, so are the regulatory requirements related to product safety. The increasing use of pharmacokinetics in drug development and registration processes is driving the need for veterinarians with specialized training in this area.

  • Increasing regulatory standards throughout the product development and registration process continues to drive increased standards such as Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in the conduct of animal studies.
  • All of these factors drive the need to hire more veterinarians, especially those with advanced training in biomedical sciences that qualify them to effectively oversee the type of studies needed by industry for regulatory purposes.

It is also anticipated that there will be an increasing need for veterinarians with training in food safety, including microbial safety and toxicology. Companies were specifically asked whether and how globalization would affect their hiring decisions.

  • The majority of respondents (68.8%) indicated that globalization would not affect the number of veterinarians in their company, 14% said they would hire more foreign-trained veterinarians and 8.3% said that globalization would result in them hiring more U.S.-trained veterinarians.
  • One company observed that a shift was underway in the pharmaceutical industry to move R&D activities from Europe and Japan to North America and the Pacific Rim.

While economic factors are involved in these decisions, the critical shortage of appropriately-trained veterinarians in the Pacific Rim, including China, has placed more emphasis on recruiting veterinary expertise in North America, especially those with toxicological and pathology expertise.

When asked about factors that will likely decrease their demand for U.S.-trained veterinarians, the respondents indicated that a change in the size of the market (such as changes in the size and scope of dairy operations) and outsourcing of some work to companies overseas could negatively affect the hiring of U.S.-trained veterinarians.

Some respondents suggested that an inadequate sup- Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × ply of veterinarians, especially diplomates of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAP) and the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), would lead companies to seek individuals from outside the United States or from other scientific fields to fill key positions.

Views on the Future Workforce: Veterinary Student Training When asked whether the current system of training adequately prepared veterinarians for careers in industry for positions that require no more than a DVM degree, slightly more than half of the 59 respondents answered in the negative, providing a long list of characteristics they found lacking in new veterinarians.

Regarding the preparation of veterinarians for positions requiring advanced training or degrees (post DVM), 24 of the respondents believed that the education system fell short. Many of the factors identified as lacking in post-DVM education were the same as those identified in DVM programs.

Industry-Specific Research and Technical Skills Among the competencies that respondents found lacking in graduates and post-graduates were training in: clinical pathology, laboratory-animal medicine, and basic safety assessment (as well as training in more specific fields, such as nutrition and poultry medicine).

But it is not clear if this is an issue of training or simply the lack of available candidates with the desired expertise. Not surprisingly, companies wanted job candidates to be prepared to fit their needs immediately upon taking a position. For example, according to one respondent, the single greatest deficiency among veterinarians seeking employment with industry is a lack of knowledge about how to fulfill GLP and GCP regulatory requirements.

  • However, many companies also commented that new graduates lacked the fundamental knowledge of the scientific process, which is a necessary skill for the organization of scientific studies, the ability to think critically and to properly interpret the scientific literature.
  • Some respondents mentioned a lack of training in statistics as part of their criticism of the research skills of new graduates.

Business and Other Skills In some sectors, veterinarians are more likely to be asked to fill positions in regulatory affairs, technical and customer services, marketing, sales, and management. Thus, many respondents also felt that graduates and post-graduates should have better training in business skills, as well as communications, interpersonal and human resource management.

It is worth noting that employers view soft skills as important in the training of anatomical and clinical pathologists (Owens et al., 2008). The 1999 KPMG study also identified non- Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,

Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × technical skill sets that lead to success in veterinary careers: leadership, communication and business skills (Brown and Silverman, 1999b). The perception by industry is that these skills are still lacking in new graduates and post-graduates.

The great diversity of educational experiences of the applicants to veterinary schools, combined with the ability of astute admissions committee members to select those with the best communication and interpersonal skills aids in the final development of veterinarians capable of meeting the needs of industry.

Likewise, the breadth of knowledge in physiology and medicine, coupled with the diversity of species covered in conventional veterinary education, prepares veterinarians to think in terms of whole-animal systems biology. This comparative approach also aids in the development of individuals who are capable of modeling human physiology and diseases in animals.

  • Because proficiency in clinical skills extends across the same diversity of species, graduate veterinarians can more easily adjust to the animals commonly used in human pharmaceutical research.
  • Finally, many veterinarians hired by industry spend at least part of their efforts on regulatory matters where good organizational skills are essential.

BOARD-CERTIFIED VETERINARIANS: SUPPLY AND DEMAND Job Advertisements Based on their responses to the questionnaire, the committee surmised that the companies contacted by the committee want to hire veterinarians with advanced training, in particular those with board certification in laboratory-animal medicine and pathology.

  1. To see how prevalent the requirements for board certification are in job listings, the committee examined job advertisements on the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science listserv, COMPMED, posted between 2006 and 2008.
  2. The analysis revealed that 12% of all positions advertised required board certification in order to apply, 19.5% required that the candidate be board-eligible, and 31% stated that board certification was desirable or preferred.

Overall, more than two-thirds of the advertisements commented on board certification, and some advertisements indicated that the employer would support an individual’s effort to achieve certification. The most common certifications mentioned in the ads, in rank order, were those of the American College of Veterinary Pathology (ACVP), the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), and the American Board of Toxicology.

Filling some of those advertised positions was also challenging. Of the 78 job postings placed in the COMPMED listserv in 2006, 8.9% were re-posted in 2007 and 1.2% were re-posted in 2008. Of the 67 advertisements posted in 2007, 8.9% were re-posted in 2008. Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.

Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × Salary Levels Increasing salary levels are an indicator of a tight supply of qualified applicants. Results of the 2005 and 2008 surveys of the members of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP) and ACLAM show that salaries of its diplomates have risen from $133,803 in 2005 to $153,038 in 2008, an increase of approximately 14% in the 3-year period.

The surveys also showed that the average salary of ACLAM diplomates employed by industry increased at about the same rate, but from a higher level; that is, from $171,704 in 2005 to $199,437 in 2008 (Huneke et al., 2009). In contrast, the average salary of ACLAM diplomates employed in academe in 2008 was $153,509.

In 2007, an ACVP survey of its members found that the average and median income of diplomates with 6-10 years experience beyond certification was $157,000 and $166,000. Similar to that of their ACLAM peers, some of the highest salaries were paid by industry employers.

Supply of Diplomates for Industry The ACLAM and the ACVP provided the committee with information on the employment of their diplomates ( Tables 5-7 and 5-8, respectively). The tables demonstrate the competition between academe and industry for ACLAM and ACVP diplomates. The number of ACLAM diplomates hired by industry over the past three decades increased from 45 in 1981 to 178 in 2007 (personal communication, Melvin Balk, ACLAM, 2008).

These two colleges are major pipelines for industry candidates. Supply of New Diplomates Since 2007, ACLAM has seen increased growth in its membership and the number of new diplomates certified ( Table 5-9 ). In addition, the pass rate of candidates taking the ACLAM examination has improved, from 31% between the years 2004-2007 to more than 50% between 2008-2010 (ACLAM, 2010).

  1. This outcome is in part the result of a concerted effort by the College to respond to demands for veterinarians in biomedical science.
  2. However, since ACLAM began certifying diplomates, the average number of years from veterinary college graduation to board certification is 9.3 years.
  3. In fact, the average time between graduation to certification has increased from 7.71 years in 1985, to 9.97 years in 1995, and 11.12 years in 2005 (ACLAM, 2007).

There are many possible explanations for the increase in the passage of time to certification: candidates leaving private practice and beginning a residency training program (which average 3 years), candidates seeking advanced degrees (average for PhD is 4 years), more candidates having to repeat the examination before passing, and some candidates taking time off after graduation before returning to a training program.

Employment Sector Number of ACLAM members Percent of Membership
Academia 370 54
Industry 178 26
Government 116 17
Private Practice 14 2
Other 7 1

DATA SOURCE: ACLAM. TABLE 5-8 American College of Veterinary Pathology Diplomates by Employment Sector, 2007

Employment Sector Number of ACVP members Percent of Membership
Academia 488 29.5
Industry 500 30.2
Private Diagnostic 142 8.6
Federal 58 3.5
State 33 2.0
Private Practice 61 3.7
Other 119 7.2
Military 34 2.0
Did not designate 233 14.1

DATA SOURCE: ACVP. TABLE 5-9 Number of Active American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Members, Retirees, and New Diplomates

Membership Category Year
2004 2007 2010
Active 677 686 746
Retired 95 134 153
New Diplomates 17 19 48

Table 5-10 presents data on the numbers of active ACVP members, retirees, and new diplomates. The number of active members in ACVP has not increased markedly. The annual numbers of new board-certified veterinary clinical pathologists remains especially small (17 new diplomates in 2010), despite an annual pass rate that has hovered around 50% for the past five years.

Status Year
2004 2005 2006 2007 2010
Active 1461 1543 1573 1609 1705
Retired 198 210 223 229 259
New Diplomates 101 39 69 81 86

DATA SOURCE: ACVP Newsletters ( www.avcp.org ); Additional data provided by the Executive Director, ACVP. In 2002 and again in 2008, the ACVP completed demographic surveys of veterinary pathology training programs and employers to determine if the supply of veterinary pathologists moving through the programs would be sufficient to cover market needs (Owens et al., 2008a, b; Kelly-Wilson, 2002).

Among other things, the results indicated a continued deficit in the supply of veterinary pathologists. Insufficient funding remained the biggest factor limiting the number of residency positions, and retirements continued to account for approximately 50% of job openings. Strengthening the Specialty Colleges ACLAM accredits 45 training programs throughout the United States and Canada.

However, only 12 of these programs are based in veterinary colleges with many of the remaining programs based in medical colleges and hospitals. There are also three programs based in federal government institutions, one associated with a pharmaceutical company, and several others which derive trainee support from pharmaceutical companies.

Although ACVP does not accredit training programs, of the 45 U.S. training sites listed on its website, 18 are not based in veterinary colleges. Clearly, training for these two disciplines has benefitted from expanding the training venue to include research centers in medicine, government, and industry.

ACLAM and ACVP are aware of the demand for highly-trained specialists and are taking steps to attract candidates for diplomates and to improve the efficiency of their residency and examination processes. To assist mentors involved in residency training programs for laboratory animal medicine, ACLAM began developing a Role Delineation Document (RDD) in 1997, defining the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be considered an ACLAM-certified laboratory-animal specialist.

After two updates to the RDD, it was ultimately incorporated into the ACLAM certification examination as a template against which exam questions were aligned. In 2002, ACLAM created a Career Pathways Committee (CPC) that developed programs at veterinary colleges to attract students into the profession through seminars, workshops, and summer externships.

The CPC also encour- Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13413. × ages private practitioners to explore the profession by providing educational sessions at AVMA meetings and by funding scholarships to clinicians to attend these sessions.

Together with the Charles River Laboratory, ACLAM developed Camp ACLAM, a week-long summer session for veterinary residents and veterinarians intending to take the ACLAM certification examination within the next 3 years. In addition to intense course work there is a practice session for the examination.

During the same period ASLAP actively encouraged veterinary students to enter the profession by creating a student liaison in every North American veterinary college who answered student questions and provided access to additional reading material on laboratory animal medicine.

ASLAP also provides summer fellowships to veterinary students to work in the field. Together, these changes appear to be making an impact. Between 2002-2008, the number of ACLAM-approved training programs increased from 35 to 41, and the number of residents enrolled in these programs has increased from 85 to 115.

In 2008, a record 92 candidates took the exam and the pass rate was 51% (compared to 31% in the past). Like ACLAM, ACVP has recognized the need to increase membership and has established pathology clubs in each of the U.S. veterinary colleges. It also has just completed a RDD which it plans to use as a template for their certification examination, and it regularly employs an educational consultant to provide quality control and to validate the examination.

In addition, it has created a joint program with the Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP) called the ACVP/STP Coalition for Veterinary Pathology Fellows which seeks funds from industry to support additional pathology fellows at academic institutions throughout North America. With the support of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as of 2009, the Coalition had competitively established 22 new training positions, including 15 anatomic pathology residencies, 3 clinical pathology residencies, and 4 post-residency PhD pathology research positions (Cockerell et al., 2009).

Trainees have no payback obligation following completion of their fellowships other than to complete the ACVP certification examination and/or the PhD, and to become employed as a veterinary pathologist. Results to date indicate that fellows are distributing themselves among positions in academia and the private sector.

  • Furthermore, the percentage of fellows who have successfully completed the ACVP certification exam is approximately 2-times the average pass rate of all first time candidates over the past 3 years, reflecting the quality of Coalition trainees and the excellence of their training programs.
  • The majority of sponsors have renewed their funding for additional Coalition training positions, demonstrating their satisfaction with, and commitment to, this unique educational initiative.

The NRC report National Needs and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Researc h (NRC, 2004) highlighted the need to expand the number of veterinarians qualified for research and other positions in biomedical science in public and private sectors.

  • Many of the report’s conclusions and recommendations related to the costs of a veterinary education and student debt, the lack of Suggested Citation: “5 Veterinarians in Industry.” National Research Council.2013.
  • Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine,
  • Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  • Doi: 10.17226/13413.

× public support for residency training, and the need to boost awareness among veterinary students of opportunities in biomedical science remain true today. In the committee’s view, opportunities for highly-trained veterinarians in industry are growing, and the new and vacant positions represent a clear unmet need.

Although more graduating veterinarians are pursuing post-DVM training, the numbers entering the specialties of laboratory-animal medicine and pathology are still inadequate to fill current vacancies and future needs in industry. The establishment of student clubs for pathology and laboratory-animal science at veterinary colleges as recently initiated by ACLAM, ASLAP and ACVP is a positive development, as is industry support for internships and training positions through the ACVP/STP Coalition for Veterinary Pathology Fellows.

Deeper partnerships between academia and industrial employers of veterinarians are possible during the professional veterinary medical curriculum. Although externships currently sponsored by industry provide greater exposure to career opportunities in pathology, laboratory-animal medicine, and toxicology, the development of additional partnerships would help increase awareness of these opportunities.

  • Moreover, this type of academic/industry collaboration should be pursued to help defray the costs of PhD education.
  • Given the limited resources of veterinary colleges, consideration should be given to tracking options in veterinary colleges, which may offer the best opportunity to channel students into career opportunities in laboratory-animal medicine, pathology, and comparative biomedical research.
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The merits of such an approach are discussed further in the final two chapters of the report ( Chapters 10 and 11 ).
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What are some fun facts about veterinarians?

Fun Facts about Veterinarians Fun Facts about Veterinarians

The term veterinarian comes from the Latin world veterinae which means ‘working animals’. Dogs are the most popular animal to show up on their veterinary exam table, as 46.3 million households in the United States own a dog! Almost 80% of practicing veterinarians are females. All vets must have a specialty. The most common form would be a general practice with household pets and the occasional surgery needing specialty veterinarian equipment. But, others may go on to complete intensive studies oncology, radiology, animal dentistry, dermatology, cardiology, preventative animal medicine, internal medicine, or exotic small animal medicine and surgery. Not all vets practice medicine, some work in basic research and development of new treatments. Others, however, apply their knowledge of animals and apply that to human problems. Veterinarian science reveals that about 61% of all the disease-causing agents in humans originate in animals. Vets were even at the forefront of ending malaria in the United States! Veterinarians are can profit incredibly by using refurbished medical equipment. Because they do not treat humans, they do not have to worry about the constant development of new and more expensive veterinary equipment that may not necessarily be better. They can take advantage and buy used medical equipment that will help them lower the costs of your animal’s visit. Vets must take an oath when they graduate medical school promising they will use their knowledge for the benefit and protection of animal health and welfare. Additionally, they solemnly swear to relieve animal suffering, advance medical knowledge, promote public health, and practice their profession with dignity, while abiding by veterinary medical ethics. In certain situations, vets can have very dangerous jobs! No matter how well behaved an animal can be, there is no way of telling what can happen on that veterinary exam table. Statistically speaking, more than half of all vets will get seriously injured in their line of work!

Have any other fun facts? Feel free to comment them below! For the latest in check out our sister shop, Your Dynamic Snippet will be displayed here. This message is displayed because you did not provided both a filter and a template to use.
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What’s the fastest you can become a veterinarian?

3. What Is the Shortest Time to Become a Vet? – The shortest possible time is six years: however, you’re more likely to complete your veterinary education in seven to nine years. To become a vet in six short years, you’d need to finish your undergraduate degree in three years (through summer sessions or AP/IB courses in high school) and complete a three-year DVM program.
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What is the richest type of vet?

General veterinary industry statistics & demographics – Like many other healthcare industries, jobs in the veterinary industry are high stress, high reward. Veterinarian job satisfaction is: high, but so are stress levels Merck Animal Health recently completed a study on the well-being and mental health among veterinarians in the United States.

  1. The study showed that while veterinarians rated their job satisfaction highly, 92% showed concerns about high stress levels, and 91% were feeling anxious about student debt.
  2. Burnout due to serious psychological stress and long hours were commonly noted.
  3. The study also found that a whopping 52% of veterinarians would not recommend a career in the veterinary profession.

The highest paid veterinary specialty is: Ophthalmology Average salaries for a veterinarian vary, but we found that the highest paid specialty in the industry is Ophthalmology, with AVMA reporting annual incomes of $199K+. Pathologists and Lab Animal Specialists weren’t far behind, with average salaries of $157K to $169K.

You’ll need to work for those specialties, though — certification requires an additional 2 to 3 years of study on top of vet school at veterinary colleges with accreditation, plus passing an intensive exam. After that, a residency must be completed under the supervision of a Board Certified specialist in the field.

The lowest paid veterinary specialty is: Radiology Veterinary Radiologists are one of the lowest paid specialists, but they still make an admirable average salary of $121K. Average veterinarian work hours per week: 40+ Many veterinarians work outside of normal business hours, including nights and weekends.

  1. And, unfortunately, it’s common to have to respond to emergencies on top of scheduled work.
  2. Best city for veterinarians to work in: Brunswick, GA Based on job availability, annual salary, and cost of living, Brunswick is a fantastic choice for both seasoned and newly graduated veterinary students alike.

Other promising options are Reading, PA, Killeen, TX, and Haverhill, MA. Worst locations include Baton Rouge, LA, Grand Rapids, MI, and Cleveland, OH. Vet suicide rates are 2.1 to 3.5 times higher than the general population Veterinarians contend with difficult work environments, including long hours, difficult pet owners, significant debt, poor work-life balance, and the complex emotions surrounding animal suffering and death.

  1. It’s no wonder so many feel anxious and depressed.
  2. A CDC study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) found that suicide rates are significantly higher among U.S.
  3. Veterinarians than the general population.
  4. Female veterinarians were 3.5 times more likely to die from suicide, while male veterinarians were 2.1 times more likely than the general population.

In this particular study, seventy-five percent of the veterinarians who died by suicide worked in a small animal practice. Working as a veterinarian can be extremely difficult emotionally. If you’re contemplating suicide, please seek immediate help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

  • The world needs you here.
  • How many veterinarians are there in the US? 113,394 The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association analyzed data from 2018, finding 113,394 veterinarians living in the United States.
  • Number of jobs: 89,200 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 89,200 jobs for veterinarians in the year 2019.

Job outlook through 2029: 16% (much faster growth than average) Fortunately for veterinarians entering the work force, employment for the profession is projected to grow 16% from 2019 to 2029 — a percentage much higher than the average for other occupations.
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How old are most veterinarians?

Veterinarian Age

Veterinarian Years Percentages
40+ years 57%
30-40 years 36%
20-30 years 8%

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Who is the most famous veterinarian?

James Herriot : Life of the World’s Most Famous Veterinarian | Memorial Hall Library.
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What are the hardest parts about being a veterinarian?

What Type Of Education Does A Veterinarian Need Being a veterinarian can be one of the most gratifying careers in the world. We have the ability to heal companions, which for many, are part of the family. But being a veterinarian also has its share of challenges. It this blog, I’ll give you the inside scoop on what I think are the top 3 most difficult aspects of being a veterinarian.

  • Coming in at Number 3: Euthanasia Often times, clientele comment on how euthanasia must be the hardest part of my job.
  • While it can be very emotionally taxing, the truth is euthanasia is not the hardest part of my career.
  • As a veterinarian, it is a double-edged sword.
  • Euthanasia is often a wonderful service to be able to provide to a suffering animal, or one that has terminal disease and no longer has an acceptable quality of life.

That being said, many times a veterinarian develops a personal relationship with not only the pet owners, but the animal as well. Sometimes it is very difficult to not break down and cry during a euthanasia. Sometimes it happens. Number 2: Abuse If you’ve ever looked into the innocent eyes of an animal that has an unexplained fear of people, an animal that quivers thinking it could be beaten at any time for reasons that aren’t understood, then you know what type of gut wrenching feeling that invokes.

Animal cruelty can occur in more forms than just physical violence, it can also include negligence, hording, and abandonment to name a few. I see cases on a routine basis where an animal owner doesn’t even realize that they are being negligent to their pet. Domesticated animals rely on their owners to not only provide food, water, and shelter, but a nurturing environment as well.

As veterinarians, we are ethically bound to report suspected cases of abuse. That alone, however, is not enough to avoid the sickening feeling we get knowing that it occurs and seeing it first hand in our clinics. Or Call 877-738-7237 to speak with a Pets Best Agent to Add a Pet to Your Policy And Number 1: The Inability to Treat In my opinion, the very toughest aspect of being a vet is having a young, mostly-healthy animal with a solvable problem- but no resources to correct the issue.

  1. The truth is, even the healthiest of animals can run into unexpected illnesses or accidents.
  2. This is the main reason I’m such a huge pet insurance enthusiast.
  3. Cat and dog insurance can often mean the different between affording care for your pet, or having to opt for euthanasia because of cost alone.
  4. Sometimes pet illnesses and accidents can be very demanding both emotionally and financially.

Repeatedly, veterinarians are in a situation where we feel we could cure a pet, but there just aren’t the funds to treat the patient. Many people don’t realize that veterinary clinics are businesses, not charities. Given the very large overhead associated with running a hospital, many clinics have very little financial wiggle-room to keep the business in positive numbers, let alone donate products and services.

Too often clients enter a veterinary clinic with the expectation that regardless of what they are able to pay, their animal will receive the care it requires. As an animal lover, it is so hard to tell someone that their pet won’t receive that care. It’s even harder to watch that animal walk out the door without the medical attention it needs.

These circumstances leave us with such an unsettling feeling of helplessness and sorrow. There are few things worse than knowing that a decision about life, or the quality of it, came down to money. For more information about pet health and behavior or to learn how you may be able to afford the best care for your pet, visit Pets Best Insurance,
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What is the hardest part of vet school?

The hardest part of vet school is not learning any particular subject. It is not the hours and hours spent getting used to reading thoracic radiographs. Getting into vet school was a challenge (and a pain at the time!), but I have dealt with worse things in my life.

The hardest part of vet school does not involve the late hours on emergency rotations, nor does it involve discussing the quality of life options with owners concerned for their pet’s well being. The hardest part of vet school is missing time with family and friends. For me, this is an exceptionally challenging part of my academic career.

I have always been at least 4 hours away from my home, and I am 8 hours away from my home while I am here in Ithaca, New York. Since I am not made of money, an airplane ride home is not a real possibility. Available time to get home and stay home for more than a few days tends to be fleeting instead of in excess.

  • With a couple new nephews in my family and aging great-grandparents, I am counting down the days left before I can return closer to my home so that I can see these people more frequently.
  • Even holiday gatherings take a back seat during veterinary school, making those uncommon moments when you get to see relatives that live far away even rarer.

We make a lot of small sacrifices during veterinary school. We miss out on lots of social affairs. We have intense class schedules and even more intense clinic schedules. Some of us sacrifice sleep while some of us sacrifice exercise time. But this hardest part of vet school, the time spent away from those you love, is no small sacrifice.

  1. Missing out on time with those you love is not insignificant.
  2. It is always hard for me no matter how I spin the story in my head.
  3. I understand that it is a reality of life, but that does not make it easier.
  4. Phone calls can connect us to those we love, but they are not the same as experiences in person.

To remedy this sadness, I always remind myself to honor those that I love every day through my actions. It is a mantra that brings me comfort and lends itself to positive interactions with those around me. What Type Of Education Does A Veterinarian Need George Washington Medical School, Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Class of 2016 Divya Kurian grew up in New Jersey and first became interested in Medicine while working as an EMT for the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps. She then went to college at St. Bonaventure University and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Biology.
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What is the hardest vet school?

FAQs – 2. Is it hard to get into veterinary college? Getting into veterinary school is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Many times, there are not enough seats for the hundreds and even thousands of applicants that schools receive, or students fall into common pitfalls during the application process, such as submitting an incomplete or weak application.3.

How can I increase my chances of getting into vet school? To best improve your chances of getting into vet school, gain some strong clinical experience by shadowing or working with a veterinarian. Animal handling experience is also a plus. Other than this, being well prepared for your admission interview, your GRE or CASPer test and submitting a complete and strong application is your best shot.4.

What are the admission requirements for vet school? Vet schools typically require a minimum GPA of 3.0 and above, the GRE, a personal statement or essay, 1 to 3 letters of recommendation and plenty of animal handling and clinical experience.5. What is the hardest vet school to get into? The University of California Davis veterinary college is probably the hardest vet school to get into in the US.

  1. The program is ranked #1 in the country and has generally high admission stats and a competitive applicant pool.6.
  2. What GPA do I need for vet school? Vet schools typically ask for a GPA of 3.0 or above, but to be considered a competitive candidate, you’ll want a GPA of at least 3.5 and above.7.
  3. What GRE score do I need for vet school? While some schools will have minimum requirements listed, most applicants should have a verbal reasoning section score of 154-158, a quantitative section score between 152-156, and an analytical writing section score of 4.0.

To your success, Your friends at BeMo
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Does Harvard have a vet school?

The Harvard Veterinary School was established in 1882 during the tenure of Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot.
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What do most veterinarians make a year?

Laboratory Experience(earn +14.68% more) Veterinarians with this skill earn +14.68% more than the average base salary, which is $133,655 per year.
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What is the largest veterinary group in the world?

World’s Largest Non-Profit Animal Hospital – The Animal Medical Center The Stephen & Christine Schwarzman Animal Medical Center (AMC) is the world’s largest non-profit animal hospital. With more than 20 specialties and services open 24/7/365, we’re dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine through innovative clinical research and education.

  • The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center is the world’s largest non-profit animal hospital with 130+ veterinarians providing the highest quality medical care across more than 20 specialties and services.
  • Our pioneering clinical research advances veterinary knowledge, and our education programs train the next generation of veterinary leaders and provide pet owners with quality pet health information.

AMC is proud to offer our services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What Type Of Education Does A Veterinarian Need What Type Of Education Does A Veterinarian Need The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center began in 1906 as the brainchild of Ellin Prince Speyer when she founded the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Believing that there were “branches of humane work especially suited for women,” Ellin and her friends developed their organization as a way to supplement the activities of the male-dominated ASPCA.

The first major activity organized by the Women’s Auxilliary was the Work Horse Parade. Held on Memorial Day in 1907, the parade encouraged streetcar drivers, peddlers, and other horse owners to treat their animals better. Thousands turned out for the event, forecasting a bright future for the organization that would one day become the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center.

Spurred by their initial successes, in 1909 the Women’s Auxiliary set out to establish a dispensary and outpatient clinic for all animals whose owners could not afford to pay for medical treatment. The clinic opened in 1910 on the Lower East Side in the heart of New York’s largest immigrant community.
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Where are most veterinarian jobs located?

Work Environment About this section – Most veterinarians work in veterinary clinics. Veterinarians held about 86,300 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of veterinarians were as follows:

Veterinary services 84%
Self-employed workers 8
Government 3
Social advocacy organizations 1
Educational services; state, local, and private 1

Most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals. Others travel to farms or work in settings such as laboratories, classrooms, or zoos. Veterinarians who treat horses or food animals travel between their offices and farms and ranches. They work outdoors in all kinds of weather and may have to perform surgery, often in remote locations.

Veterinarians who work in food safety and inspection travel to farms, slaughterhouses, and food-processing plants to inspect the health of animals and to ensure that the facility follows safety protocols. The work can be emotionally stressful, as veterinarians care for abused animals, euthanize sick ones, and offer support to the animals’ anxious owners.

Working on farms and ranches, in slaughterhouses, or with wildlife can also be physically demanding.
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Where do most veterinarians work?

9 unexpected locations where veterinarians work – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common veterinary work environments are animal hospitals and clinics. Some vets also choose to operate their own clinics, while others join group practices.
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