January 01, 2018

From 2015-17, the debt-to-income ratio for recent veterinary graduates declined from 2.04:1 to 1.86:1. The underlying story hidden in those figures is that the ratio went down because there were fewer students who had any debt at all, meaning veterinary colleges were accepting more affluent students. That has masked the increase in students who have higher levels of debt. These two trends have implications not only for the financial status of current and future veterinarians but also for the diversity of the profession and its ability to attract the best and brightest.


The AVMA will lobby to save programs that reduce educational debt and provide access to low-cost loans. The Association also will back legislation that could help veterinarians and veterinary students refinance their loans, identify repayment options, and discharge educational debts through bankruptcy. In November 2017, the AVMA Board of Directors voted to support seven bills that could help veterinarians and veterinary students maintain access to loans or reduce their educational debt.


World Health Organization guidelines published in November 2017 state that livestock industries should stop using antimicrobials to prevent disease or improve production in livestock. They also advocate reducing overall antimicrobial administration to livestock, especially administration of drugs important for human medicine. The WHO also is recommending veterinarian oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, use of antimicrobial resistance tests in treatment decision-making, use of vaccines and sanitation to prevent disease, and limitation of some classes of antimicrobials to use in human medicine.


Feline medicine has come a long way in the past half-century, thanks in part to the Winn Feline Foundation. 2018 is the foundation’s 50th anniversary. Since 1968, Winn has provided more than $6 million for feline health research.