By Gina Luke, assistant director of the AVMA GRD
The fiscal year 2012 Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) application cycle is underway. Veterinarians interested in applying for the program may review the eligibility criteria and access the application package at www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp. Applications are due by Friday, June 15, 2012.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) works diligently to ensure that Congress funds the VMLRP each year. In fact, VMLRP has been AVMA's top appropriation request each year since the program was authorized. Working with our strategic partners, the AVMA was able to secure funding that will allow the USDA to award up to $4.3 million to veterinarians in 2012.
Since 2010, 419 veterinarians have applied to the VMLRP, and 131 have received VMLRP awards totaling nearly $12.7 million. In exchange for loan repayment awards, veterinarians sign three-year contracts with the USDA to provide much needed services in USDA-designated veterinarian shortage situations, including food animal medicine, public health, epidemiology, and food safety.
The VMLRP is a federal program administered by the USDA. The primary USDA contact for the program is Dr. Gary Sherman, 202-401-4952, gshermannifa [dot] usda [dot] gov.
For information on AVMA's advocacy surrounding educational debt and veterinary workforce issues contact glukeavma [dot] org (Gina Luke), assistant director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division.