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Shortage Creates Increased Job Prospects in Veterinary Medicine
Date:3/10/2008

California Veterinarians Encourage Students to Pursue Careers in Veterinary

Medicine

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Now is an ideal time to enter the field of veterinary medicine. U.S. employment opportunities for veterinarians are expected to increase faster than the overall average for all occupations through the year 2012. California, alone, will need more than 700 new veterinarians per year to keep up with retirement and the ever-growing pet population. The veterinarian shortage is not unique to California. It is estimated there will be a nationwide shortage of 15,000 veterinarians over the next 20 years.

"There are excellent career opportunities in veterinary medicine," said Dr. Jeff Smith, president of the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). "As there are a limited number of accredited veterinary schools, we see more job opportunities for veterinarians than graduates. Additionally, pet owners are more knowledgeable about the improvements in veterinary medicine and ask for advanced care for their pets, creating even more demand for veterinary professionals."

According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.1 million homes. People consider pets a part of their family and are spending more on them, from food and routine veterinary visits to dental care products and travel accommodations. Approximately $40.8 billion was spent on pets in the U.S. in 2007 compared to $28.5 billion in 2001.

The road to becoming a veterinarian generally starts with four years of undergraduate study in social sciences, humanities, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. Veterinarians graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree from a four-year program at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. After completing the educational requirements, graduates must pass national board examinations
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SOURCE California Veterinary Medical Association
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