Veterinary Debt: Does it Make Financial Sense to Become a Veterinarian?
This article by Doctors David Asch, Sean Nicholson, Marko Vujicic which appeared this week in The New England Journal of Medicine has huge implications for our profession. Everyone in veterinary medicine needs to have an understanding of the implications of rising educational costs and the crushing burden of veterinary student debt.
“The general lesson is that if we want to keep health care costs down and still have access to well-qualified physicians, we also need to keep the cost of creating those physicians down by changing the way that physicians are trained. From college through licensure and credentialing, our annual physician-production costs are high, and they are made higher by the long time we devote to training.
Although it seems unlikely that we’re in a bubble market for medical education, we may already be in one for veterinary medicine. That bubble will burst when potential students recognize that the costs of training aren’t matched by later returns.
Then the optometry bubble may burst, followed by the pharmacy and dentistry bubbles. At the extreme, we will march down the debt-to-income ratio ladder, through psychiatrists to cardiologists to orthopedists...until no one is left but the MBAs.”