Objective—To determine relationships among several common measures of performance prior to and during veterinary school (ie, Graduate Record Examination [GRE] scores, undergraduate grade point average [UGPA], Qualifying Examination [QE] scores, overall grade point average during veterinary school [VGPA], and scores for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination [NAVLE]).
Design—Longitudinal retrospective study.
Sample Population—192 students from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and 152 students from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
Procedures—Student UGPA, VGPA, and GRE score data were gathered during the normal admissions and academic processes. The QE was administered as a low-stakes examination at both institutions for the purposes of curricular assessment. Scores on the NAVLE were provided with student permission by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Path analysis was used to explore hypothesized relationships among variables.
Results—GRE scores and UGPA predicted NAVLE scores indirectly through QE scores and VGPA, whereas QE scores and VGPA directly predicted NAVLE scores. The resulting models explained 58% to 62% of the variance in NAVLE scores, with QE score being the strongest predictor.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that for veterinary school students, GRE scores, UGPA, VGPA, and QE scores could be used to predict scores on the NAVLE. This suggests that these measures could prove useful to veterinary schools when admitting students or preparing them for the NAVLE.
Objective—To assess student awareness of the financial costs of pursuing a veterinary education, to determine student expectations for financial returns of a veterinary career, and to identify associations between student debt and factors such as future career plans or personality type.
Sample—First-year veterinary students at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
Procedures—In 2013, prior to the first day of class, all incoming first-year students received an email invitation to complete an online survey. The survey contained questions about demographics, current financial situation, current debt, expected debt at graduation, expected annual income following graduation, intent to pursue specialty training, and Myers-Briggs personality type.
Results—72 of 102 (71%) students completed the survey; 65 respondents answered all relevant questions and provided usable data. Student responses for expected debt at graduation were comparable to national averages for veterinary college graduates; responses for expected annual income following graduation were lower than averages for University of Minnesota veterinary college graduates and national averages. However, students predicted even lower annual income if they did not attend veterinary college. Expected debt and expected annual income were not correlated with factors such as personality type or future career plans.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that first-year veterinary students were aware of the financial costs of their veterinary education and had realistic expectations for future salaries. For typical veterinary students, attending veterinary college appeared to be financially worthwhile, given lower expected earnings otherwise. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:196–203)