Letters to the Editor

Peter Eyre Blacksburg, VA

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The burden of educational debt

We are indebted to Volk et al1 and the Merck Veterinarian Wellbeing Study for their comprehensive analysis of personal well-being in our profession. The authors report that veterinarians’ wellness and prosperity are influenced by a wide range of circumstances. That said, it is important to point out that the excessive cost of veterinary education is a persistent universal problem irrespective of other contributing factors.2

Educational debt (mean, $157,000) continues to grow, and its harmful effects on the veterinary profession will be severe unless we take remedial action. The matter is urgent: we cannot afford to wait for more studies. We need to do what we already know,1,2 and we could start doing what we know today! Why don’t we?


  • 1.

    Volk JO, Schimmack U, Strand EB, et al. Executive summary of the Merck Animal Health Veterinarian Wellbeing Study III and Veterinary Support Staff Study. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2022;260(12):15471553.

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  • 2.

    Bain B, Lefebvre SL, Salois M. Characteristics of and comparisons between US fourth-year veterinary students graduating with and without educational debt from 2001 through 2020. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2022;260(5):559564.

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