The financial burden of a veterinary medical education continues to increase with rising tuition prices. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average educational debt of a veterinary student graduating in 2020 was approximately $157,000 (Bain, 2020). Studies published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association suggest that suicide rates among veterinarians are higher than that of the general population and list debt as a primary contributing factor. The purpose of this project is to expose students to the financial reality of veterinary medicine, increase awareness of financial and career opportunities, and compile information gathered from interviews to assist Kentucky residents in making informed and financially sound decisions about a career in veterinary medicine. This project consists of interviews with admissions representatives and students from an institution offering reciprocity to Kentucky residents (Auburn University), a stateside school without reciprocity (University of California, Davis), an international veterinary school (St. George’s University), and a private school without its own teaching hospital (Lincoln Memorial University). The types of veterinarians interviewed include a general practice owner, veterinary specialist, rural veterinarian, and a government-employed veterinarian. Although the debt resulting from veterinary school is daunting, it is not insurmountable and can be minimized.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Michael Stokes, Ph.D.
Higher Education | Other Veterinary Medicine | Veterinary Medicine
Ackermann, Shelby, "The Financial Reality of a Career in Veterinary Medicine for Kentucky Residents" (2021). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 927.