A study from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University praises veterinarians' economic benefit to New England. It also warns of a dangerous shortage of animal doctors in the future. Veterinary medicine provides more than $3.3 billion total to the economies of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. But increased numbers of retiring doctors and not enough graduates from Cummings—the only veterinary school in the region—could mean a regional shortage of as many as 658 veterinarians by 2014.
Echoing news of a national food animal veterinarian shortage, Cummings is positioned to graduate only half of the food animal veterinarians needed to fill the 100 jobs in the region expected to be vacant in six years. "The study sheds light on the growing need for veterinarians to ensure the care and safety of animals in the region," says a spokesperson for Hill's Pet Nutrition, the study's chief sponsor.
In addition to its $3.3 billion in contributions from clinical practice and scientific research and development, veterinary medicine creates jobs in related industries. For every 100 veterinary medical jobs in the region, an additional 59 jobs are created outside of the industry.
Click here for the complete study in PDF format.