Letters to the Editor

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Shortage or salaries?

I enjoyed reading the recent JAVMA News article “Veterinarian shortage or salaries not keeping up?”1 The suggestion from Dr. Fred Ouedraogo that “What is happening in the veterinary profession might not be a shortage but a mismatch in price” is spot on. It should come as no surprise that there seems to be a lack of veterinarians to fill associate-level positions. Veterinarians are indeed graduating each year, but they are not taking associate jobs as readily as they used to. They are blazing their own paths, specializing, or using their veterinary degrees in numerous ways other than clinical practice. There is a chasm between the cost of a veterinary education and the value placed on primary care veterinarians. The salaries hospitals are offering to associates are simply not enough, and that needs to change. As the costs of living and education increase, the salaries hospitals are willing to pay veterinarians need to increase as well. Research says veterinarian salaries are growing, but they are not increasing at a fast-enough pace. Annual revenue in the pet industry is in the billions of dollars and quickly expanding, but associate salaries do not appear to reflect this growth. Until they do, the help wanted signs will remain hung, collecting dust.

Vanessa Yeager, dvm, mph

Veterinary Consulting and Concierge Services, LLC Veterinary Relief-Teaching-Research Lake Bluff, Ill

1. Larkin M. Veterinarian shortage or salaries not keeping up? J Am Vet Med Assoc 2019;255:13311332.

  • 1. Larkin M. Veterinarian shortage or salaries not keeping up? J Am Vet Med Assoc 2019;255:13311332.

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