TABLE 2-1 Employment of U.S. Veterinarians Who Are AVMA Members

Private Clinical Practice

2004

1986

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Large animal exclusive

1,887

4.0

1,936

5.7

Large animal predominant

2,596

5.4

4,570

13.5

Mixed animal

3,868

8.2

3,397

10.1

Small animal predominant

5,507

11.7

4,722

14.0

Small animal exclusive

29,951

63.4

17,276

51.1

Equine

2,257

4.8

1,888

5.6

Other

1,198

2.5

 

 

Subtotal

47,264

100

33,789

100

Public and Corporate Employment

2004

1986

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

College or university

3,961

46.7

3,713

39.5

Federal government

641

7.6

2,212

23.5

State or local government

542

6.4

756

8.0

Uniformed services

474

5.6

586

6.2

Industrial

1,566

18.5

2,128

22.7

Other

1,294

15.2

 

 

Subtotal

8,478

100

9,395

100

Grand Total

64,867

 

43,184

 

SOURCE: Pritchard, 1988; AVMA, 2005b.

(NRC, 2004b). While it is too early to tell whether the recommendations from the 2004 NRC report have had an effect, the employment demographics of veterinarians over the last 15 years (Table 2-1) suggest that many of the Pew report recommendations have not been realized, due largely to the limited amount of funding provided and the complete lack of follow-up and continuity.

Private Veterinarians

Veterinarians in private practices, generally supported by veterinary technicians, are among the front-line health professionals dealing with animal disease. They constitute about 80 percent of the veterinary workforce (ca. 47,000, as shown in Table 2-1). Fewer than 10,000 derive a significant portion of their income from food-animal practice, and the number is declining (AVMA, 2005b). Rural demographic changes, inten-



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement