which enhances residency training. Veterinary colleges also have the basic scientists who have the research backgrounds and equipment to provide residents with the in-depth guidance in research methodologies and to provide appropriate mentoring for studies on complex clinical diseases. Veterinary colleges are able to train residents to make presentations of the results of their studies in clinical rounds and at national conferences. Some medical schools provide focused areas of expertise in comparative medicine that accommodate comparative medical pathology and laboratory animal training.
On the other hand, the rapid growth of specialties and the need for training has been pursued in the face of inadequate infrastructure support, such as core funding for faculty, and adequate resources and equipment for the training environment. Veterinary colleges are funded using public resources to train entry level veterinarians, with very little support for specialty education. Specialty colleges require two or more faculty mentors to train residents, placing pressure on the schools to hire more faculty, typically an individual with a clinical specialty. In some instances, colleges are located in communities with inadequate caseloads to fully support the appropriate training environment for the specialty, causing some colleges to develop satellite clinics in locations which support specialty training. This has made the advanced training for specialists a viable alternative and has improved clinical experiences for both residents and professional students. But these opportunities are limited. Comparable research experiences are much more limited. Some veterinary colleges use residents as instructors for veterinary students, which can be an important part of residency training, but it also detracts from the specialty training activities due to the considerable time and effort required to adequately supervise and train the professional students.
Although AVMA has been a significant supporter of specialty training, it has done so with minimal consultation with veterinary colleges. This is causing a dilemma with the colleges since they have to provide the infrastructure and faculty to provide this training with little or no funding or infrastructure support. Federal agencies and industry also benefit from having the veterinary colleges train specialists for their respective workforces. Although they sometimes provide stipends for training specialists, they give minimal or no contributions to infrastructure or faculty salaries. From a financial perspective, the colleges are unlikely to have the resources to continue with their post-DVM programs and to provide what is required for entry level DVM training, particularly in light of the declining state support.
Clinical Faculty Expertise is not Being Replenished
A major concern of academic veterinary medicine is the failure of trained specialists to remain in the academic environment. When board-certified specialists join a veterinary faculty, the veterinary teaching hospital clinical practices are enhanced. This trend has been important for moving the teaching hospi-