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Monday, March 9, 2015

Proportion of Ross and St. George's DVM Graduates in the US during the Last 30 Years

By Donald F. Smith, Cornell University (1)

In a story posted here on February 27th, I reported that alumni of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine alumni have contributed to the US veterinary workforce since their first class graduated in 1985 (2). Likewise, St. George’s University graduates have worked in the US since 2003. Over half of those graduates reside in the seven most populous states and in the three eastern states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

This posting shows the proportion of AVMA-member Caribbean graduates to the total AVMA-member veterinary workforce. In the following graph, the percentage of Ross and St. George’s graduates is compared to all DVMs in five-year intervals over the past 30 years. Even considering that many of the graduates of the two schools are not AVMA members (and are, therefore, not enumerated here), the number is slightly over 5.5% of the total AVMA members who graduated since 1985, most of whom reside in the US.

Percentage of AVMA-member graduates from Caribbean veterinary schools, since their first graduating classes (Ross and St. George's, in 1985 and 2003, respectively), as a proportion of all AVMA-membe graduates during the same five-year periods. (3)
Throughout our history, US citizens have traveled to foreign countries to receive a veterinary education. During the late 19th and early 20th century, large numbers of US citizens bypassed veterinary colleges in New York and other northern states and received veterinary degrees in Toronto and Montreal.  For example, during the first 40 years operation of the Ontario Veterinary College (located at the time in Toronto), over 1,750 of the graduates were from the US.  Most returned to their home states, where they entered practice. Some became teaching faculty and, at least in one case, the dean of a US veterinary college.

During the 1960s and 1970s, substantial numbers of US citizens were educated abroad, travelling to Italy or the Philippines and returning to the US to practice.  Many of these are still active in the profession.

With the opening of Ross University’s veterinary school in the 1980s, and St. George’s two decades later, many US citizens migrated to the Caribbean for their veterinary education.

More recently, Americans have also traveled to Canada and overseas to receive their veterinary degrees.  There are almost 2,000 AVMA-members currently in the US who graduated from Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, alone.  Substantial proportions of faculty in US colleges are foreign graduates, and many have served as deans of our veterinary colleges, especially during the last 30 years. (4)

(1) The author is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ross University
(2) Smith, Donald F. Distribution of Ross and St. George's DVM Graduates in the United States, Veterinary Legacy, February 27, 2015
(3) AVMA Directory, Member accessible (February 2015)
(4) Smith, Donald F. Foreign-Born Deans of Veterinary Medicine. Perspectives in Veterinary Medicine, December 5, 2014