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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Veterinarians in New York State

By Donald F. Smith, Cornell University
Posted July 3, 2012

         When animal owners seek veterinary care in New York State, their dog, cat, horse or herd of cattle could be treated by a graduate of any number of colleges across the U.S. or throughout the world. Though Cornell has over 3,100 alumni dispersed around the country, fewer than 1,300 are here in New York. Graduates from other colleges in the region, especially Penn, Tufts, Michigan State and the Ohio State, add another 530.
         The largest change in the profile of New York's veterinarians in the last decade, however, has been in the substantial growth in graduates of foreign colleges, in particular, Ross and St. George's universities in the Caribbean, and the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. These are relatively new schools and many of their American graduates practice in the northeast.  
         The following graph shows how the addition of graduates from a greater number of colleges is changing the profile of veterinarians in New York. When you consider N.Y. veterinarians of all ages, 35% are Cornell graduates. However, Cornell alumni make up only 22% when we look at the younger veterinarians, specifically, those who graduated in the ten-year period between 1997 and 2006. (I have not included data from the most recent six years because there is a more year-to-year movement in the first few years after graduation that is often associated with internship and residency positions.)
         The spectrum of institutions represented among the state's veterinarians also means that a New York student wanting to become a veterinarian can find graduates from a variety of schools to provide information on the institution they might be considering. 

Colleges from which Veterinarians in New York State received their DVM degrees
 in the 10-year period between 1997 and 2006.
(AVMA membership record, 2012) 

         New York has 3,630 veterinarians registered as members of the national veterinary association (AVMA). That is about one veterinarian for every 6,000 people in the state. Looking at the numbers from a national perspective, there appears to be an inverse proportion of  veterinarians to population density. For example, states like Iowa, Colorado and Wyoming, have one veterinarian for every 2,300 people, over twice that of New York, New Jersey or California.

Number of Veterinarians per 1,000 Population for the Twelve Largest States
(AVMA membership records, 2012)

         The preceding graph shows that New York ranks near the bottom in number of veterinarians per 1,000 people for the twelve most populous states. However, unlike a few years ago before the economic slowdown, many New York veterinarians will tell you that there not a shortage of DVMs in the state.

Note: All veterinary data in this blog are from the American Veterinary Medical Association. 

If you liked this blog, you might also like to read a blog posted on May 29, 2012, entitled "Employment Opportunities for Veterinarians"  

Dr. Smith invites comments at