AVMA Economics on dvm360


The AVMA Economics staff publishes an article in the dvm360 magazine on a monthly basis. Read these articles and keep abreast of the latest information on veterinary economics, including statistics on the veterinary markets, employment, salaries, debt and income, and get hot tips on practice profitability.

Are rising veterinary salaries driving up the cost of care?

In examining veterinary salary trends, the changing demographics of practitioners in the profession, as well as practice ownership propensities, are considered.

The changing landscape of veterinary education

Analysis finds education debt trends are affected by the distribution of DVM graduates with zero debt across veterinary school seat type: public and private, foreign and domestic, and discounted and nondiscounted. More research is vital for a better understanding of the costs to attain the degree.

Debt-to-income ratio: Short-term gains but long-term problems

Trends observed in DVM student debt and practitioner salaries are discussed in the context of the markets for veterinary education, veterinarians, and veterinary services.

The year ahead: Things are looking bright for the veterinary profession

In his annual look at the year ahead, the AVMA's Veterinary Economics Division director examines economic trends and prospects for the veterinary profession in 2018.

The cost of a seat: State funding, vet school tuition and easy assumptions

An examination of the connection between public-support levels and resident tuition rates at veterinary schools points to a need to explore other factors to understand why education costs vary among colleges.

Bringing balance to your veterinary practice's financial health

Beyond understanding the business' income statement, assessing a practice's financial health requires close examination of the balance sheet. Analyzing how assets contribute to the bottom line will enable better decision making in deciding how to direct capital to efficiently deliver veterinary services.

Does this chart make me look fat?

A forthcoming published survey finds pinpointing a pet's weight to be more accurate through question methodology used, and suggests that opportunity is ripe for improving healthcare outcomes and expanding service offerings such as nutrition education.

The pricing struggle: How high is too high for pet owners?

Does increasing prices always lead to increased revenue? See how raising prices may negatively impact the demand for veterinary services in your practice and even lower revenues.

How much is my veterinary degree worth?

Do you wish to understand how the net value and the net present value of your degree is calculated? This article teaches you how lifelong earnings, as a result of your DVM degree, vary by gender, practice type, qualifications and graduation year! Also grab an inside preview of how you can measure the intangible benefits obtained from earning your DVM degree.

The veterinary debt-to-income ratio: Good news, but also a warning

An economic downturn can have profound implications for the prevailing debt-to-income ratio, so swift and effective action to deal with DVM debt is imperative.

Veterinarians: Will you continue to own your profession?

To maintain their influence over animal health, veterinarians would be wise to apply the same approach to their practices that they use with their patients.

Why outside investors want in on the veterinary profession

Could the gap between pet health care needs and that provided by the veterinarian be a reason equity firms seek investment in veterinary practices?

Repayment realities: Why do some DVMs take longer to pay off student debt?

Veterinarians incur different levels of student debt, and they service that debt at different paces of repayment. Demographics are examined to understand possible factors in loan payback progress.

Mars and VCA: Welcome to industry consolidation 101

Veterinarians incur different levels of student debt, and they service that debt at different paces of repayment. Demographics are examined to understand possible factors in loan payback progress.

Veterinary practice and the U.S. economy: What's the impact?

Customer spending on veterinary services is but one impact the veterinary profession has on the economy. This economic analysis presents a look at ties the veterinary profession has with the economy and the economic activity it generates.

The Trump card: The economy after our crazy election

A look at growth rate expectations and a discussion of potential policy impacts ring in the New Year, with the question posed, "What's it all mean for 2017?"

Chipping away of the soul: New data on compassion fatigue—and compassion satisfaction—in veterinary medicine

Although veterinarians have relatively normal levels of burnout and secondary traumatic stress when compared to other professionals, certain character traits exhibit a higher likelihood of association with this strain on wellness.

Starting salaries are up! (Let's not get too excited)

The economic recovery has helped to boost the starting salaries of new veterinarians, but beware the ebbs and flows of the business cycle.

Student debt: Good for the economy?

Veterinary economist explains what paying for veterinary education with future earnings means for the economy.

Law school grads or vet school grads: Who's got it worse?

Veterinary economists use NPV estimates to predict how many graduates would be too many, and how the economic return for veterinarians compares to lawyers.

Yes, female veterinarians earn less, BUT...

The AVMA has been publishing the mean starting salary for new veterinarians for more than 30 years. These studies have clearly shown women make less than men whether they are new graduates, associates, or practice owners.

Veterinary debt-to-income ratios: What would happen in a recession?

The AVMA Economics Division analyzed several scenarios that can emerge in an attempt to reduce to the debt-to-income ratio (DIR) for veterinary graduates from 2:1 to 1:4 within the next 10-15 years. Even with movement in a positive direction, the plan to reduce the DIR could be quickly derailed by events such as a recession or the addition of new veterinary colleges.

Hey, vet school: Grads not earning? No loans for you!

The proposed Department of Education requirements on gainful employment might ruffle some feathers. How does your school stack up?

Headed in the right DIR-ection

The problem of a high debt-to-income ratio (DIR) for recent graduates is a problem for the entire veterinary profession. This article quantifies how the problem should be apportioned within the profession, and suggests some strategies to reduce the DIR.

Can we quantify the true cost of veterinary student debt?

To the borrower, student loan debt may seem abstract, but debt is more than just a number. What does it mean to have to make payments on student loans? In this article we quantify some of the effects of student loan repayment on lifestyle choices.

The year ahead: Are we headed for another recession?

Where is the general economy in the business cycle, and what are the implications for veterinarians and veterinary practices?

AVMA veterinary economist warns of education problems ahead

The current estimates for the number of domestic and foreign seats at the U.S. accredited colleges of veterinary medicine are estimated to remain constant at roughly 4,200 seats from 2018 to 2025. How would changes in the number of seats affect starting salaries, excess capacity, and the debt-to-income ratio of new graduates?

What's the right diagnosis for emotionally struggling veterinarians?

A recent study published in JAVMA indicated the presence of a mental health epidemic in the veterinary profession. This article takes another approach to quantifying the problem, and the results indicate that it is not nearly as prevalent as first thought.

Upset about veterinary debt? Don’t blame the students

It turns out that the majority of veterinary students are managing to borrow only what they need. Additionally, we have analyzed what factors affect debt and can use this information to create strategies designed to help those students at the greatest risk of taking on too much student loan debt.

The gender wage gap in veterinary medicine: Is clinical confidence a factor?

The wage gap is a real economic phenomenon in the veterinary profession.

Salary predictions for food animal, government veterinarians

AVMA economists explain their methodology for salary predictions for food-animal-exclusive and state and local government veterinarians and talk about plans for futher analysis.

Experience counts: Why some veterinarians earn more (or less) than others

AVMA economists analyze data associated with salaries of experienced veterinarians.

How to predict veterinary compensation: Part two

Learn what affects the year-to-year variation in starting salaries for companion animal exclusive practitioners, and how to predict future starting salaries.

How to predict veterinary compensation

How can we predict compensation for new graduates of U.S. veterinary colleges? For most years and most employment types, compensation is predicted by just two factors: GDP per capita and the number of new graduates entering that employment sector. Furthermore, a new graduate can use the table contained herein to estimate what their salary should be.

Internships: A tax on new veterinarians?

The increase in the proportion of new graduates taking on nonacademic internships is alarming given that internships cost $40,000 in opportunity costs and are associated with a higher probability of becoming unemployed later in life.

Making yourself scarce: How relative scarcity affects veterinary incomes

Starting salaries for new graduates vary by gender, practice type, and region of the country. If you are a new graduate, use the controllable factors to your advantage, and set yourself up for the highest probability of success.

Truth or trash? Examining debt-to-income ratios for new veterinarians

The mean debt-to-income ratio of new veterinarians is a frequently quoted statistic, but who exactly should be included in that calculation? Find out everything you ever wanted to know about debt-to-income ratios.

Examining the job prospects for veterinarians

Analysis of AVMA's first annual employment survey finds several variables to be statistically correlated with the probability of employment.

Data suggests veterinary market will improve in 2015

Economist predicts strong financial improvement for veterinary practices within the next 12-18 months. Take a look at local economic conditions, as well as your practice operations.

Starting Salaries: A telltale for veterinary market performance

The AVMA Economics Division develops debt and income indices for new veterinarians. The real weighted income was flat, but the number of employed new veterinarians doubled, showing signs of improvement for the market for veterinarians.

How veterinary medicine is like a t-bone steak

AVMA presents findings from a newly developed net present value model. It estimates the lifetime value of the DVM degree.

Don't shoot the messenger: The role of prices in the veterinary market

Economists emphasize the importance of listening to the price signals. Market participants should pay attention to the signals between the markets, not just between buyers and sellers within a market. Learn how prices act as the messenger between the vertically-related veterinary markets.

If a tree falls in the forest, does a veterinarian hear it?

The veterinary market consists of three vertically-related markets: the market for veterinary education, the market for veterinarians, and the market for veterinary services. Dr. Dicks gives an analogy of how these three markets are similar to the housing market but further explains that the differences are vital.

The price of knowledge when only 1 in 5 veterinarians respond

The AVMA is working to poll from specific entities, but lack of participation is costly. A statistically accurate presentation of how members feel is necessary to improve market performance.

Analyzing veterinary data: It's all about the 'why' axis

Dr. Dicks stresses the importance of using trusted data for providing accurate analysis. To solve the problems within the veterinary markets, first start by asking why the problems exist.