Category Archives: Veterinarian

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A Radical Proposal to Save the Veterinary Profession from Destruction by Student Loans

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save the veterinary profession

We are at an inflection point in the veterinary profession. I’m learning from anecdotal conversations with friends in vet school that prospective freshman students are starting to price shop for seats. Additionally, the average vet student is becoming more affluent, meaning that the field is becoming accessible only to those with wealthy parents who can keep their children out of debt. I have a radical plan to save the veterinary profession from destruction by student loans, and it’s far from perfect.

I’m not a veterinarian and I don’t pretend to be one, I’ve just helped dozens of veterinarians try to figure out how to live with debt loads over four times their income. If there’s problems with this plan, tell me in the comments and critique me. Better yet, propose your own plan on how to curb the cost of veterinary education. I hope this article starts a conversation among key stakeholders to change the future of veterinary education for the better. The status quo could lead to destruction of the profession, and every CVM dean raising tuition by 5% or more every year needs to realize this. 

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Veterinary Residents Earn Six Figure Salaries Thanks to Student Loans

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veterinary residents

 

Pretend you are brand new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Your first year out of graduation, you do a veterinary internship and make about $30,000. Then you do a veterinary residency program for 3-5 years and make $40,000 each year. Clearly this is a horrible financial decision compared to an immediate $75,000 salary in private practice right? Veterinary residents have the most attractive job financially in the entire veterinary profession. Every veterinarian with student debt needs to know why.  

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  • 0

The Student Loan Repayment Choices for Veterinarians

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dog-91765_640

The average veterinarian graduating with debt from the class of 2014 left with $153,191 of student loans. The AVMA recently stated that the average rate of tuition growth for vet school is 4.86%. If we extrapolate those numbers to today, the average veterinarian graduating with debt from the class of 2017 will leave with a liability of $176,629.30. An excellent starting salary for a veterinarian graduating from school today is around $75,000 from what many of my friends and clients have told me. Most students in vet school graduate with debt. Hence, many first year veterinarians leave school with a debt to income ratio of at least $177,000/$75,000 = 2.36. With a such a debt load, optimizing the student loan repayment choices for veterinarians to find the cheapest one is extremely important. 

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  • 71

Veterinarians Are Treated Horribly Under Student Loan Rules

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Veterinarians are treated horribly under student loan rules

If you’re a veterinarian, want to be one, are training to be one, or love someone who is, you should know about the extreme unfairness towards the profession that exists today. Veterinarians are treated horribly under student loan rules. Students graduate with huge balances, are not eligible for the best forgiveness options, and don’t earn high enough incomes to pay back their debts. To top it off, their peers in human medicine have access to a massive loophole in the student loan rules that veterinarians do not. This will result in veterinarians paying hundreds of thousands of dollars more on their student loans than human doctors making five times their salaries. This piece should serve as a call to action for the veterinary profession.

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  • 0

How Can This Veterinarian Pay Back Her Massive Student Debt?

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veterinarianThis case study is a fascinating look into why the higher education system is broken in America. We will call this reader Jane to protect her anonymity. I’ll describe her situation rather than quote what she told me. She has $388,000 in debt from a single, consolidated loan directly from the federal government at an interest rate of 6.75%.

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