In some parts of he country it’s a long way between veterinarians, especially ones that will work on cows.
Most of the young ones are female vets, if you are lucky enough to find any young ones at all.
This is a naturally occurring phenomenon brought about as our generations mature and we try to make life “better” for those that follow.
I guess vet medicine is seen as a hard way to make a living, for is rare to meet a young person who is motivated to become a rural, mixed-animal DVM.
Most young people interested in animal agriculture go to college to become educated in some other form of agribusiness. Vet medicine is perceived by many to be a career of long hours, short pay, and probably a short career as well, due to job-related injuries because working with large animals is also hazardous.
Tuition costs are skyrocketing and the school-related debt is further filling new grads with the fear they cannot service that debt unless we vets begin charging exorbitant fees for our services.
Our clients are already burdened by spiraling costs and some will opt to discontinue veterinary services if faced with a too-drastic an increase in fees.
Rein in college fees? Good luck with that… Many schools have an agenda of their own and few are out of the "save ourselves first" mode.
While for years small-animal practice has absorbed the excess numbers of veterinarians produced by our vet schools, they cannot furnish an outlet for young graduated veterinarians indefinitely.
Urban and suburban small-animal practices are beginning to feel the effects of the economic downturn as well.
Bad press, both within the veterinary profession and within animal agriculture itself, are drying up the pool of applicants who are interested in making a career out of being rural veterinarians.
Some of the press is true -- long hours at certain times of year are inescapable and yes, sometimes you have to keep your eyes open for an animal that is hell-bent and whiskey-bound for your destruction.
But it is equally untrue you cannot make a good living at plying this craft in the countryside.
Further, you will have the honor of earning the respect of some very worthwhile people in the process.
Next time I’ll discuss women as veterinarians, since they now outnumber men in vet colleges and very likely you will soon meet one, if you haven’t already.