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Assessing the Current and Future Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine

This study was a joint project of two divisions of the National Research Council: the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) and Policy and Global Affairs Division (PGA). DELS’s Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and PGA’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce convened an expert committee to assess the current and future workforce needs in veterinary medicine.

View the final report:

Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine

Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine (2012) This study examines workforce needs in the veterinary medical workforce, including demographics, workforce supply, trends affecting job availability, and capacity of the educational system to fill future demands. The study found that the profession faces important challenges in maintaining the economic sustainability of veterinary practice and education, building its scholarly foundations, and evolving veterinary service to meet changing societal needs.

Staff Contacts:
Robin A. Schoen, Director, BANR,
Janet Mulligan, Research Associate,

View project record in the Academies' Current Project System


Project Scope

The National Research Council proposes to convene an expert committee to study the broad scope of issues related to the veterinary workforce in the United States. The study will explore historical changes in the size and characteristics of the veterinary workforce and adequacy of the current supply of veterinarians in different occupational categories and employment sectors and the factors that are likely to affect the numbers of veterinarians seeking jobs in different sectors in the future. The study will examine the current and future capacity of universities and colleges to provide sufficient numbers of adequately trained veterinarians and identify training needs relative to the demand for specific expertise. A report will present the findings of the study, and identify options for meeting requirements for a veterinary workforce.

Meetings & Events

Committee Meeting One
April 19-20, 2007, Washington, DC
View meeting agenda (with links to speakers’ PowerPoint presentations)
Committee Meeting Two
June 22-23, 2007, Washington, DC
Committee Meeting Three
September 23-24, 2007, Washington, DC
Committee Meeting Four
January 30-31, 2008, Washington, DC
Committee Meeting Five
February 27
-28, 2008, Washington DC
Committee Meeting Six
March 18-19
, 2009, Washington DC


Update on May 10, 2012: The project duration has been extended. The report is expected to be issued in May 30, 2012.


Alan M. Kelly (Chair)
Professor of Pathology and Dean Emeritus
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Sheila W. Allen
University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine

Val R. Beasley
Professor of Veterinary Biosciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine

Bonnie Buntain
Assistant Dean of Government and International Relations
Professor, Public Health
Interim Head Department of Ecosystem and Public Health
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Calgary

Henry Childers
American Veterinary Medical Association Immediate Past President and Small animal practitioner

Gary Cockerell
Cockerell Alliances

Harold Davis
Former Vice President of Pre-Clinical Safety (retired)

Malcolm Getz
Associate Professor of Economics
Vanderbilt University

Tracey S. McNamara
Veterinary Pathologist and Consultant

Gay Y. Miller
Professor, Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bennie I. Osburn
University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Mark V. Pauly
Bendheim Professor
The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania

Fred W. Quimby
The Rockefeller University [Retired]

Stephen F. Sutherland
Senior Director, US Regulatory Affairs
Pfizer Animal Health
Veterinary Medicine Research and Development


American Animal Hospital Association
American Veterinary Medical Association 
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Bayer Animal Health
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

External Links

Andrus, David M., Kevin P. Gwinner, and J. Bruce Prince. “Estimating FSVM Demand and Maintaining the Availability of Veterinarians for Careers in Food Supply Related Disciplines in the United States and Canada.” JAVMA. May (2006).

Andrus, David M., Kevin P. Gwinner, and J. Bruce Prince. “Food Supply Veterinary Medicine: Job satisfaction, changes in occupational area, and commitment to a career in food supply veterinary medicine.” JAVMA. 228.12 (2006): 1884-1893.

AVMA Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Coalition Report (May 2006) Available online

AVMA Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Data Maps by State Available online

Buntain, Bonnie J., “Emerging Challenges in Public Health Protection, Food Safety, and Security: Veterinary Needs in the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, “ Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 31.4 (2004): 334-340. Fiala, Jennifer. “Study wrestles with food animal DVM shortage.” DVM Newsmagazine. February (2006): 19.

King, Lonnie J. Veterinary Medicine and Public Health at CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 22 December 2006: 7-9.

NRC. 2004. National Needs and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research. Washington DC: National Academies Press.
Available online

NRC. 2005. Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, detecting, and diagnosing animal diseases. Washington DC: National Academies Press. Available online

NRC. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington DC: National Academies Press. Available online

Prince, J. Bruce, David M. Andrus, Kevin B. Gwinner. “Food Supply Veterinary Medicine: Future demand, probably shortages, and strategies for

creating a better future in food supply veterinary medicine.” JAVMA. 229.1 (2006): 1-13.

Snyder, Gerald. “Staff shortages pose real threat.” DVM Magazine. January (2006): 32-34.

Tremayne, Jessica. “Kansas program to increase rural DVMs.” DVM Newsmagazine. July (2006): 62.

University of Tennessee – Veterinary College. “Veterinary Needs Assessment.” 2007.

Unknown. “Iowa State, Nebraska program address food animal shortage: New faculty will be hired to accommodate students’ needs.” DVM Newsmagazine. September (2006): 13.

Unknown. “Supply in demand? Veterinarian shortage looms as demands change, experts say.” DVM Newsmagazine. October (2006): 40-50.

Unknown. “Purdue veterinary preparedness program certified.” DVM Newsmagazine. April (2007): 67.