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David Sparks Ph.d Vet Shortage
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: May 31, 2018

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Idaho’s $10 billion dairy industry faces a veterinarian shortage in the coming years if state and federal governments do not act now to recruit vet school graduates to Idaho. Twin Falls veterinarian Liz Kohtz says there is not a shortage now but the industry is changing. “In our area, we do have an older veterinary base and so there are quite a few of our veterinarians that are in their 60s and foreseeably in the next 5 to 10 years will be retiring and we don’t have as many young veterinarians coming in. So in the foreseeable future I could see that there would be a shortage in the Magic Valley.” The veterinary medical Association got Congress to address this potential crisis after identifying 187 areas in the US that need vets now. They started the veterinary medicine loan repayment program which gives vets up to $75,000 to repay student loans if they locate to places like Idaho to practice large animal medicine. “Having a shortage of veterinarians is difficult especially if we ever have some sort of an outbreak of a disease that could hinder our industry. Veterinarians are on the front line and very important and integral to our industry.” Student loans average hundred and $40,000 making it hard to start a vet practice. Offering $75,000 in debt forgiveness to practice in places like Idaho will help the shortage,

a shortage that will get worse before it gets better.

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