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Gender differences in salary and practice ownership expectations of matriculating veterinary students

David G. Bristol DVM, DABVP, DACVS1
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

Abstract

Objective—To examine gender differences in initial and long-term salary and practice ownership expectations among first-year veterinary students.

Design—Survey.

Sample—First-year veterinary students at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine during 2000 through 2003 and 2005 through 2009.

Procedures—A 1-page survey was distributed to students during orientation exercises or on the first day of a first-year course on ethics and jurisprudence. Students were asked to indicate their expected salary at graduation and in 5-year increments after graduation and to indicate whether they expected to own a practice after graduation.

Results—Responses were obtained from 567 female and 120 male students. There was no significant difference in initial salary expectations between male and female students. However, men had higher expectations for salary increases over the course of their career, so that expected salary was significantly higher for men than for women 5 years after graduation and beyond. A significantly greater percentage of men (69/93 [74.2%]) than women (242/499 [48.5%]) indicated they expected to own a practice.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although male and female veterinary students had similar expectations with regard to initial salaries, the male students had higher long-term salary expectations and were more likely to indicate an expectation to become a practice owner. Differences in expectations may lead to differences in behavior when those expectations are or are not met.

Abstract

Objective—To examine gender differences in initial and long-term salary and practice ownership expectations among first-year veterinary students.

Design—Survey.

Sample—First-year veterinary students at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine during 2000 through 2003 and 2005 through 2009.

Procedures—A 1-page survey was distributed to students during orientation exercises or on the first day of a first-year course on ethics and jurisprudence. Students were asked to indicate their expected salary at graduation and in 5-year increments after graduation and to indicate whether they expected to own a practice after graduation.

Results—Responses were obtained from 567 female and 120 male students. There was no significant difference in initial salary expectations between male and female students. However, men had higher expectations for salary increases over the course of their career, so that expected salary was significantly higher for men than for women 5 years after graduation and beyond. A significantly greater percentage of men (69/93 [74.2%]) than women (242/499 [48.5%]) indicated they expected to own a practice.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although male and female veterinary students had similar expectations with regard to initial salaries, the male students had higher long-term salary expectations and were more likely to indicate an expectation to become a practice owner. Differences in expectations may lead to differences in behavior when those expectations are or are not met.

Contributor Notes

Presented as an oral presentation at the North American Veterinary Conference, Orlando, Fla, January 2009.

Address correspondence to Dr. Bristol (david_bristol@ncsu.edu).