In spite of the recognition that a formal projection of the workforce was not possible, the committee was still compelled to gather and analyze available data pertaining to the future demand for comparative medicine veterinarians and the supply of veterinarians entering the workforce and, recognizing the limitations of these data, to draw conclusions. In this case, the only available data on demand pertained to laboratory animal medicine veterinarians and veterinary pathologists. So, in addition, the committee identified several factors that could conceivably affect the demand for comparative medicine veterinarians in the near future. Fortunately, however, data pertaining to the supply of comparative medicine veterinarians (e.g., from NRSA training programs and specialty training programs) were more readily available and are discussed below.
Comparative medicine veterinarians can receive their postgraduate training in a clinical or research setting, through residencies or research training programs, respectively. Some comparative medicine veterinarians receive both clinical and research training.
Typically, an institution bears the costs associated with a residency program. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, a small amount of clinical training was supported by the federal government. Clinical training for those individuals in a T32 research training program was supported by the T32 award (the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging also supported clinical fellowships in pathology). However, in the mid-1990s, NIH re-evaluated the use of the T32 funding mechanism and notified awardee institutions that the award was primarily for research training rather than clinical training. Since then, there has been no federal support of veterinary residency programs, and academic institutions have had to bear the costs of their residency programs, although several pharmaceutical companies have begun supporting training positions within academic institutions (Bennett, 1994).
The number of ACLAM-accredited laboratory animal medicine residency programs has not changed since 1995:32 active programs were known to exist in 1995 (Weigler et al., 1997), and there were 32 in 2002 (Table 3-1). Of the 32 currently active programs, nine programs did not