AVMA reports on the state of the veterinary industry

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently released The AVMA Report on Veterinary Markets, the first of six economic reports that will be released individually throughout 2015. The reports offer economic information about the state of the veterinary industry for veterinarians and other industry stakeholders.

The January Executive Summary concludes that excess capacity, defined as the ability to provide services in excess of demand, is projected to decline from 2018-2025. This is due to the constant size of veterinary classes, the projected growth in the number of pets and the subsequent demand for veterinary services, and the declining number of services per veterinary full-time employee (FTE) due to the increase of women entering the market.

Highlights from the January Executive Summary are below.

  • Despite the projected growth in the GDP of 3.4% for the next two years as the economy rebounds, some practices will see tremendous improvement while others will not be impacted.
  • The veterinary education market is at or near equilibrium, i.e., the number of seats in veterinary schools is relatively equal to the number of applicants.  
  • The cost of veterinary education is expected to exceed veterinary compensation and thus will reduce the demand for veterinary education.
  • The lower earning potential of female DVMs is due to women indicating they prefer to work less rather than more. (Men, on the other hand, prefer to work more for at least 10 years post-graduate).

The report series is available for purchase, but executive summaries of each report will be made available free of charge as each report is published. Future reports will cover veterinary employment, veterinary debt and income, the market for veterinarians, veterinary capacity, and the market for veterinary education.