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The Future of Veterinary Medicine

National Institutes of Health (Labor, HHS)

 

Background

 
Two of NIH’s stated goals are to foster fundamental & innovative research and to develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources. Graduates of veterinary medical colleges play an integral role in the biomedical research enterprise. With expertise in comparative medicine and animal models, doctors of veterinary medicine (DVM) bring a unique and vital skill set to the research team and the biomedical research enterprise. AAVMC will continue to work with NIH to ensure that DVMs are provided more opportunities at the ICs.
 
On average, veterinary medical college students graduate with $140,000 in debt, facing the same obstacles allopathic and osteopathic physicians face in terms of debt load. Unfortunately, loan repayment for graduates of veterinary medical school wishing to pursue biomedical research is limited. This limitation is contributing to the shrinking pool of veterinary researchers as graduates choose to pursue career paths that will allow for faster repayment of educational debt. AAVMC will continue to work with NIH to expand the shrinking pool of postdoctoral training opportunities, as they are vital to meeting NIH’s goals and can help incentivize graduates to consider the additional education required of biomedical researchers.
 
In order to meet the potential of “One Health,” protect public health, and fulfill NIH’s goals, graduates of veterinary medical colleges should receive the same support afforded other biomedical researchers to conduct postdoctoral fellowships. In this economic climate, expanding federal opportunities for biomedical research fellowships may be difficult, but AAVMC will work to ensure that veterinary graduates have the same opportunities to compete for the existing positions afforded other health professionals.
 
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