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2018 Resident Salaries Offered through the VIRMP
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

June, 2018

 

Introduction

According to the annual Senior Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 31.6% percent of 2016 graduates pursued additional training by internship (Dicks, Bain, & Knippenberg, 2017).  Recent graduates report receiving additional hands on training and mentoring, as well as pursuing specialized experience as reasons for pursuing internship. A smaller number of these professionals go on to pursue residency training with the goal of earning additional degrees and/or board certification.


Historically, post-DVM training programs have paid salaries far lower than the national average for recent graduates.  In 2017, AVMA reported new graduate veterinarians earned an average annual salary of $73,380 for 2016 graduates (Dicks, Knippenberg, Bain & Greenhill 2017). In 2017, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) reported an average salary of $34,527 for first year residents in training programs in the United States (Greenhill, 2017).

In an effort to broaden the profession’s understanding of trainee salaries, the AAVMC has partnered with the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) to study the full complement of residencies and internships offered through a matching program. This publication focuses exclusively on first year salaries for residency programs in the United States.

Methodology

The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) sponsors the annual Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP).  The purpose of the program is to “expedite the selection of interns and residencies for participating veterinary colleges and private veterinary practices.” (AAVC, 2017). The VIRMP allows academic institutions and private practices to submit training positions to be filled and applicants to submit their applications and rankings to the VIRMP. Program coordinators review the applications and rank the applicants. Proprietary software used by the VIRMP determines the best matches based on the rankings and notifies the applicants and the program coordinators.


This process begins annually in September of each year when the training program coordinators from individual residency and internship training programs enter their program information into the matching program’s website (www.virmp.org). Program coordinators enter detailed information about the positions being offered; the salary being offered is entered as a free-text field.

In the spring of 2018, this data was provided to AAVMC for analysis. Prior to analysis, all free text entered salary information was standardized using US currency formatting. Residency position offerings were sorted by clinical and non-clinical types; clinical positions were again sorted by practice area.  The position entry data included the state location and the name of the institution or practice offering each position.  These data were organized using regional variables and a descriptive variable indicating whether the practice was located at an academic institution or a private practice.

Descriptive and ANOVA analyses were conducted using SPSS 22.


Definitions

There are two kinds of residents, non-clinical and clinical residents. Non-Clinical residents are defined as individuals involved in basic science training programs. Clinical residents are defined as individuals involved in a three year advanced training program in a specialty area in veterinary medicine. This training may or may not lead to a specialty board certification and may or may not be embedded within a graduate program.


Clinical interns are defined as individuals participating in a one year rotating or specialty clinical training program in veterinary medicine. The internship provides practical experience in applying knowledge gained during formal professional education and offers the opportunity for recent graduates to obtain additional training.


Summary of Findings for Resident Positions Filled through the Match Program

The number of first year residency positions offered in the United States through the VIRMP for the 2018-2019 training year was 352. Positions were offered in two categories: academic institutions and private practices. A total of 73 entities offered positions for the 2018-2019 training year. Academic institutions offered the bulk of residency training positions in the most recent match cycle, 301 or 85.5% of positions offered at 46 sites.

For all listed resident positions, the average starting salary was $35,021 or 1.4% higher than the salary offered in 2017. The increase also represented a smaller increase than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) (2.5%) for the period April 2017 to April 2018 (Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2018). There was also a statistical difference between positions offered in academic or private settings, with privately offered residency applicants being offered $37,169 and academically offered residency applicants being offered $34,657 or 7.2% less (p=.009).


Table 1:

Average Salary Offered for Resident Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

27.6%

$32,565

$30,500

Northeast

25.6%

$36,209

$35,157

South

30.7%

$33,665

$31,364

West

16.2%

$39,891

$42,216

Total

100.0%

$35,021

$33,000

 
Residency match offerings were sorted into categories associated with specialty areas (Table 2).

 

Table 2:

Average Resident Salary Offered by Practice Type

Area of Practice

Number of Positions Listed

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median Salary

Ambulatory

2

.6%

$35,556

$35,556

Anesthesia

18

5.1%

$32,866

$32,682

Avian Medicine

1

.3%

$28,000

$28,000

Cardiology

9

2.6%

$33,529

$32,500

Clinical Nutrition

3

.9%

$34,572

$35,000

Dentistry

4

1.1%

$36,308

$36,608

Dermatology

11

3.1%

$31,097

$31,350

Diagnostic Imagine and Radiology

15

4.3%

$31,591

$31,000

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

56

15.9%

$36,113

$35,000

Equine Medicine

10

2.8%

$34,155

$31,634

Equine Surgery

11

3.1%

$33,553

$31,350

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

2

.6%

$39,287

$39,287

Food Animal Medicine & Surgery

5

1.4%

$34,675

$34,157

Herd Medicine/Agricultural Practice/Herd Production

1

.3%

$42,216

$42,216

Laboratory Medicine/Comparative Medicine

37

10.5%

$47,214

$47,484

Medicine - Large Animal

13

3.7%

$32,745

$31,364

Medicine - Small Animal

42

11.9%

$33,609

$32,390

Neurology/Neurosurgery

19

5.4%

$32,082

$31,000

Oncology

19

5.4%

$32,539

$31,364

Ophthalmology

1

.3%

$35,157

$35,157

Radiation Oncology/Therapy

6

1.7%

$31,129

$29,530

Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

1

.3%

$28,000

$28,000

Surgery - Large Animal

10

2.8%

$32,530

$33,070

Surgery - Small Animal

43

12.2%

$33,099

$31,364

Theriogenology

8

2.3%

$32,318

$31,350

Zoological Medicine

5

1.4%

$34,750

$35,000

Ambulatory

352

100.0%

$35,021

$33,000

 

Although salaries within the sample ranged from $28,000 per year up to $47,214 year, average salary offers across practice areas largely clustered in the low $30,000 range. Positions for clinical trainees in Emergency Medicine/Critical Care comprised the single largest group of positions listed (15.9%). Although most salary offers were fairly close to the mean, statistically significant differences were found across practice areas (p=.000).  These differences may well be mitigated by the very small sample sizes within each practice category.

Non-clinical Residency Training
It is important to differentiate between clinical and non-clinical trainees as the salary offers differ significantly.

Trainees pursuing non-clinical residencies in Laboratory Medicine/Comparative Medicine were offered significantly more than their clinical resident counterparts participating in the matching program (p = .000).  Applicants to these non-clinical programs were offered positions with an average starting salary of $47,214 while applicants to clinical residency programs were offered $33,588 or 28.9% less in salary.  It should be noted that the total number of positions listed for laboratory animal medicine comprised 10.5% of all positions listed in the VIRMP for the year reviewed.

Academic Residency Offerings
As noted earlier, US colleges of veterinary medicine offered 301 residency positions in the match for the 2018-2019 employment year. The mean salary positions offered by the colleges was $34,656, with a salary range of $26,000 to $64,000. Much like the total complement of residency offerings, the largest percentage of positions could be found in the Midwest (29.9%) and Southern regions (35.2%). Salaries in the Northeast and West were significantly higher than in other regions (P=.000). Table 3 provides salary averages for academic residency positions by region, while Table 4 provides salary averages by state where academic residency opportunities are offered.

 

Table 3:

Average Salary Offered for Academic
Residency Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

29.9%

$32,318

$30,500

Northeast

18.9%

$36,644

$35,157

South

35.2%

$33,660

$31,364

West

15.9%

$38,882

$42,216

Total

100.0%

$34,656

$32,500

 


 

Table 4:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by State

State

Mean

Median

 

Alabama

$31,350

$31,350

 

California

$43,054

$42,216

 

Colorado

$33,167

$32,500

 

Connecticut

$45,000

$42,000

 

Florida

$36,938

$36,358

 

Georgia

$35,996

$31,364

 

Illinois

$33,177

$30,767

 

Indiana

$30,500

$30,500

 

Iowa

$29,000

$29,000

 

Kansas

$34,157

$34,157

 

Louisiana

$33,786

$30,916

 

Maryland

$47,484

$47,484

 

Massachusetts

$36,918

$35,157

 

Michigan

$36,991

$33,640

 

Minnesota

$32,679

$30,000

 

Mississippi

$30,133

$30,200

 

Missouri

$29,997

$26,500

 

New York

$39,758

$35,700

 

North Carolina

$35,735

$35,000

 

Ohio

$34,448

$33,000

 

Oklahoma

$29,000

$29,000

 

Oregon

$35,321

$32,280

 

Pennsylvania

$33,086

$31,000

 

Tennessee

$29,773

$28,000

 

Texas

$30,407

$29,584

 

Virginia

$37,098

$35,412

 

Washington

$33,975

$29,472

 

Wisconsin

$29,800

$29,800

 

Total

$34,656

$32,500

 

 

Table 5 shows the mean residency salary offerings by practice area. Positions in laboratory animal/comparative medicine comprised the largest single group of offerings by positions, and these positions offered a higher salary than others offered across practice area. Most salaries offered were clustered close to $32,000. Residency positions in Small Animal Medicine and Small Animal Surgery, together, represented 21.6% of academic residency positions offered during this match period.

 

Table 5:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by Practice Area

Practice Area

% of Positions

Mean

Median

Ambulatory

.7%

$35,556

$35,556

Anesthesia

6.0%

$32,866

$32,682

Avian Medicine

.3%

$28,000

$28,000

Cardiology

2.3%

$34,285

$35,000

Clinical Nutrition

1.0%

$34,572

$35,000

Dentistry

1.3%

$36,308

$36,608

Dermatology

3.3%

$31,007

$31,175

Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

5.0%

$31,591

$31,000

Emergency Medicine - Small Animal

11.3%

$33,075

$31,350

Equine Medicine

3.3%

$34,155

$31,634

Equine Surgery

3.7%

$33,553

$31,350

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

.7%

$39,287

$39,287

Food Animal Medicine and Surgery

1.7%

$34,675

$34,157

Herd Medicine/Agricultural Practices/Herd Production

.3%

$42,216

$42,216

Laboratory Animal/Comparative Medicine

12.3%

$47,214

$47,484

Medicine- Large Animal

4.3%

$32,745

$31,364

Medicine - Small Animal

11.3%

$32,752

$31,357

Neurology/Neurosurgery

5.3%

$32,441

$31,175

Oncology

6.0%

$32,722

$31,822

Ophthalmology

.3%

$35,157

$35,157

Radiation Oncology Therapy

1.7%

$31,503

$29,800

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

.3%

$28,000

$28,000

Surgery - Large Animal

3.3%

$32,530

$33,070

Surgery - Small Animal

10.3%

$32,296

$31,000

Theriogenology

2.7%

$32,318

$31,350

Zoological Medicine

1.3%

$34,688

$32,884

Total

100.0%

$34,656

$32,500

 

Limitations

The salary data acquired from the VIRMP only represents a portion of available residency and intern positions offered in the United States. It is unclear how many positions are offered to new and recent graduates of the professional DVM program. Because of this, the authors are unable to claim that this data is wholly definitive of the salary ranges that may be offered to residents in the United States.

 

Conclusion

Residents are offered salaries that less than half the national average salary earned by new graduates, however, there is a wide range of salaries within those offered. Overall, resident salaries rose less than the CPI for the last year. Finally, salaries and residencies are influenced by numerous things including location, practice area and whether the position is offered by an academic institution or a private practice. 

Acknowledgements

The AAVMC acknowledges the contributions of the staff of the VIRMP for providing access to the match data.

 

 

References

 

Cost of Living. Numbeo, n.d. Web. 14 May. 2018.

Consumer Price Index—April 2018. Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor. Web. 10 May 2018.  

Web.

Dicks, Michael R., Bridgette Bain, and Ross Knippenberg. 2017 AVMA Report on Veterinary Markets. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, 2017. Print.

Dicks, Michael R., Ross Knippenberg, Bridgette Bain, and Lisa Greenhill. 2017 AVMA Report on the Market for Veterinary Education. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, 2017. Print.

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2017 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.”

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. June 2017. Web.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Please cite as:

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2018 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. June 2018. Web.