June 15, 2015

Starting salaries for new veterinarians have begun to recover from the economic downturn of 2008 through 2012, according to the AVMA 2015 Report on Veterinary Debt and Income. The news isn’t all positive, however. Mean educational debt for new veterinarians has grown by approximately $6,854 annually over the past 10 years and in 2014 stood at more than twice the mean starting annual income for new private practice veterinarians.

Issues

Starting July 1, the Department of Education is requiring that degree-granting for-profits prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation” to qualify for Title IV federal student financial aid programs such as Federal Direct and Perkins loans. Some for-profit programs have garnered poor reputations because of tuitions high above the national mean, substandard school performance, and pass rates below the national mean on the national licensing examination.

Practice

Agriculture-related sales of antimicrobials rose by one-sixth in five years, and that included a one-fifth rise in sales of those considered important for human medicine. Meat, dairy, and egg production rose at lower rates during that time. But federal officials and industry advocates cautioned there are limits in interpreting the data, warning in particular against assuming that changes in sales reflect changes in use.

Community

Dr. Tammy R. Beckham, currently director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases in College Station, Texas, will take over as dean of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine this August.