Fountain Report Excerpts Sep 19, 2023

Fountain Report Excerpts
  1. There has been ongoing debate regarding the existence of a veterinary shortage in the animal health care industry. In the latest Fountain Report, policy expert Mark Cushing highlights a new study on workforce numbers by veterinarian and economist James Lloyd.Based on his research, Lloyd estimates about 97,308 veterinarians were needed to meet the U.S. demand for pet health services in 2022. If 3% annual growth in demand occurs, an estimated total of 123,267 companion animal veterinarians will be needed in 2030 to meet the demand for pet health services. At 4% annual growth, 133,173 veterinarians will be needed in 2030, suggesting that between 29,356 and 39,262 additional companion animal veterinarians will be needed.Data indicates that domestic and foreign veterinary graduates will add about 31,000 new companion animal veterinarians to the U.S. pet health care workforce by 2030, representing a shortage of 14,000 to 24,000 companion animal veterinarians in the United States, Lloyd found.”I encourage all readers to access the Mars Veterinary Health website to see the full report from Dr. Lloyd,” Mark writes. “Whatever your interests may be, you will have the data you need at your fingertips.”
  1. Predictions of crisis-level shortages of companion animal veterinarians are overstated and have led to “dramatic, knee-jerk proposals to change how the profession is regulated,” writes AVMA President Dr. Rena Carlson. What has been less broadly shared is that there is soon to be an influx of veterinarians that should ensure an ample supply well into the future, she says. Carlson believes calls for the introduction of a midlevel position are premature, as there is no agreed-upon standard curriculum, no programmatic accreditation and no national test to deliver and assess knowledge and skills. Developing such infrastructure would take decades and is required to ensure that animals and the public are protected, she writes in Today’s Veterinary Business.
  1. Murray State University in Kentucky announced its board of regents will create a task force and begin a feasibility study to work toward the creation of a school of veterinary medicine. The task force will examine the statewide shortage of veterinary professionals within the state. According to the organization’s release, since there is currently no school of veterinary medicine in Kentucky, students from the state are accepted to out-of-state veterinary schools. By creating a veterinary school within the state, the hope is that future veterinarians will attend school there and then stay in Kentucky to help care for animals. Murray State’s Hudson School of Agriculture has the largest estimated pre-veterinary medicine and veterinary technology enrollment of all the universities in Kentucky, as well as being one of three programs in the state that is fully accredited by the AVMA.

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