Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (7 U.S.C. 3101, Sect. 1415A)
Today’s veterinary medical students face increasingly large debt burdens. According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the mean educational debt for today’s veterinary medical graduate is approximately $133,000. Approximately 37 percent of students graduating in 2010 reported debt exceeding $150,000.
The Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act, helps qualified veterinarians offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medicine degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations.
VMLRP will pay up to $25,000 each year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a National Institute of Food and Agriculture-designated veterinarian shortage situations for a period of three years.
Veterinarians selected for Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program provide a wide array of necessary veterinary services for food animal producer’s livestock including beef, dairy cows, poultry, swine, dairy goats, meat goats, sheep, lamb, and farm horses. VMLRP veterinarians ensure animal health and welfare while protecting the nation’s food supply. They provide any veterinarian- accredited medical procedure including routine services (vaccination, castration and dehorning) and emergency services (for acute illness, trauma, dystocia or obstetrical difficulties).
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