Student debt is an increasingly critical issue for the entire veterinary profession, and how to reduce that debt and improve the overall economic picture for young veterinarians was the focus of a summit held at Michigan State University last week. Summit attendees put forth a number of recommendations, including streamlining curricula, increasing scholarship opportunities, boosting starting salaries, lobbying federal lawmakers for legislation to lower interest rates on student loans and creating a national plan for reducing the debt-to-income ratio.
The summit, organized jointly by the AVMA, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, brought together approximately 180 individuals from across the veterinary spectrum. The collective goal over the three-day summit was to agree on specific strategies to address the many facets of this complex challenge, with the goal of reducing the debt-to-income ratio. The debt-to-income ratio is an indicator of the financial health of the veterinarian entering the profession, and it currently stands at about 2:1, representing a level of educational debt approximately twice the level of starting income.
For more information on the summit and the next steps that will be taken designed to help reduce student debt, please read the press release posted in our online Press Room.