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Supplement to “Large Animal Vet Shortage”

Want to be a vet?

Veterinarian quick facts

Want to be a vet?

American Veterinary Medical Association

Auburn University, Alabama College of Veterinary Medicine

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education To learn more about the initiative that provides Kentucky students the opportunity to study veterinary medicine at schools outside the state at reduced tuition rates, type in “vet medicine” in the Search box at the top and then click on the “Veterinary Medicine Contract Spaces” link.

Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association Use the links on the left to “Find A Veterinarian” in your area or click on “Links of Interest” for additional veterinary resources.

Tuskegee University, Alabama School of Veterinary Medicine for “School of Veterinary Medicine.”

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Veterinarian quick facts

Kentucky is not alone in its shortage of veterinarians who specialize in large-animal medicine. Here’s a snapshot of the profession across the state and how Kentucky stacks up nationwide:

• Veterinary colleges across the U.S. graduate 2,600 veterinarians annually. According to Dr. James O. Cook, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), graduate levels have been static for 30 years.

• Roughly 75 percent of veterinary school graduates are women who hail from urban centers, according to Cook. In 1973, the field was dominated by men hailing from rural areas, according to Kentucky State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout, DVM.

• Nationally, veterinarians’ starting salaries ranged from a low of $23,000 to a high of $75,000 annually in 2007, according to an American Veterinary Medical Association study.

• The average annual salary for all veterinarians in Kentucky is $60,000.

• Nationally, 59.4 percent of recent veterinary graduates went into private practice in 2007, according to an AVMA survey. Of those, 32.1 percent entered small animal practices, 8.9 entered mixed-animal practices, 4.1 percent entered equine practices, and 2.8 percent chose to practice large-animal medicine exclusively.

• According to an AVMA survey, there were 58,240 veterinarians in practice nationwide in 2007. Of those, 8,627 were engaged in the practice of large-animal medicine.

• According to AVMA estimates, there are roughly 240 large-animal veterinarians currently practicing in Kentucky.

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To read the Kentucky Living January 2009 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Large Animal Vet Shortage.

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