Graduates and the Job Market

When it comes to the job picture for 2010 veterinary graduates, there’s good news … and there’s not-so-good news. Let’s start with the good news. According to our latest “Employment, starting salaries, and educational indebtedness of year-2010 graduates of US veterinary medical colleges” report, starting salaries increased 3.6 percent for all first-year employees, including those pursuing advanced studies. Now for the flip side: Average educational debt among veterinary graduates increased 3 percent, to $133,873. Another interesting survey finding is that even more grads are heading into advanced study upon receiving their veterinary degree. That proportion grew by 13.1 percent from 2009, with nearly half, or 49.2 percent of graduates, indicating they would be pursuing an internship or residency.

3 thoughts on “Graduates and the Job Market

  1. The problem of declining salaries and increasing debt has been known about and studied for now over three decades. The Arthur Little Study of the late 70s, the in-house study by Wise and Kushman in 1985, the KPMG study of 1999 all questioned the dynamics of supply and demand and recommended either staying at or lowering production of veterinarians. The problem is that these were economists telling veterinarians that society did not need as many veterinarians as veterinarians believed. Currently, many veterinary schools are expanding admissions in what I see as as a means to replace revenues lost by state’s cutting support to their schools. If the soon to be released National Academies Science Report on Veterinary Manpower recommends cutting the size of entering classes, do we have any leaders who will finally face the economic reality that has been staring us in the face for over a decade, make the hard decisions and execute them successfully? The past record ( as Peter Eyre in his November 1 letter also states) shows that we study, meet, report, publish, plan and then fail to execute. As the father of modern management in the 20th century, Peter Drucker, said, “Plans are only good intentions unless they degenerate immediately into hard work.” We need leaders who can lead and not just talk about future plans or promote concepts, ie “one health”, that really cannot be reduced into actionable objectives and measurable results. To quote an Army Ranger proverb, ” Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.”

  2. Dr. Kuhn, thank you very much for your comments about the upcoming seminar in Charlotte. AVMA and Bank of America have put on 5 such seminars this year, and most of them have focused on exactly what you suggest: acquiring existing practices. For example, the seminar recently held in Houston was titled “An Evening Learning Session on Veterinary Practice Transitions: Are you ready to sell your practice or acquire a new one?”

    I can understand your concern about promoting the creation of more clinics. That is not the intention of these seminars. Rather, the AVMA has several goals in working with Bank of America to provide these seminars. The first is to provide a service to those veterinarians who may be interested in becoming practice owners. Results from AVMA surveys consistently show that veterinarians are interested in receiving financial training because they don’t feel they receive adequate business training during their veterinary education. Also, by working with a group such as Bank of America, AVMA can increase the value of your AVMA membership. These seminars, which can bring together experts with veterinary, financial & architectural backgrounds, are provided at no cost to AVMA members. AVMA members can also receive savings with reduced loan administration fees.

    While our intention with these seminars is not necessarily to promote the creation of new practices, we do want to continue to be a resource for our members. I will be sure to incorporate your comments with our plans for future seminars and thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  3. I recently received a mailing that was endorsed by the AVMA about a seminar about creating your own practice. This seminar was to be held in Charlotte. I can see having a seminar on how to purchase an existing practice, but nowdays in my area of the Southeast there are too many practices. AVMA should not be encouraging the creation of new practices this just enriches the outfits that put on the seminars.