Electrophile

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Missouri just did that too with its class of 2013. But unless they specifically target large animal/mixed people with that 20% increase, it's just going to be more competition getting the small animal jobs. Adding 20% more students also puts strains on resources like classroom space and competition for cases and attention from faculty during clinical rotations.
 

sumstorm

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Adding 20% more students also puts strains on resources like classroom space and competition for cases and attention from faculty during clinical rotations.
Yeah, we are currently fitting ~80 folks into a space designed for ~70. I definitly feel the squeeze; one of our classes doesn't have enough desk space, and anatomy lab is tight and loud.
 

Nexx

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Purdue doing its part to increase tuition-generated revenue by 20%

FTFY :p

Even if they accepted more people based on their intent to go into LA, no way to guarantee they stay on that track really unless a uni moves towards the often talked about single track/specialization.
 

nitheninny

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Even if they accepted more people based on their intent to go into LA, no way to guarantee they stay on that track really unless a uni moves towards the often talked about single track/specialization.
Very true. Almost every veterinary student I spoke to at schools with tracking said they started out in one track and switched to a different one, and I'd say about 50% of the ones who were large/mixed said they started out wanting only small animal, saying they had no interest in large/mixed originally. So I'm not really sure that even targeting students who put their interest as large animal would work.

And I hadn't thought about how increasing the class size might affect the students themselves, but it's true. Increasing numbers means less individual attention per student, less space, etc. Most of the schools I visited seemed like their lecture halls were at capacity already.

I think what really needs to be done to fix this and shift some people over to large animal practice is to create some sort of incentive for students to do so. I'm not really sure what could be done or by who, but if it's such a problem that the schools are willing to increase their class sizes, perhaps an alternative solution can be found.
 

Electrophile

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Speaking as someone who pretty much always lived in the suburbs, even in otherwise rural areas, and as someone who wouldn't mind doing mixed animal practice (especially small ruminants and camelids, but cattle are okay too), it's much more daunting to go from wanting to do small animal to food animal than vice versa. Much of food animal medicine is husbandry and that's pretty difficult to get a good handle on unless you've owned and worked with those sorts of animals extensively. It's not a huge deal to own a dog or cat and most people have. But only a much smaller number of people this day and age have even touched a cow, let alone worked them. If you have a non-animal science major and go into your interview saying you want to work with dogs and cats, no one would bat an eye. But not having little to no animal science experience and/or no real world experience is not easy at all to switch over. I'm just starting to get a little, but it's much more difficult to get into without previous experience if you formerly only wanted to do small animal stuff.
 

nitheninny

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Speaking as someone who pretty much always lived in the suburbs, even in otherwise rural areas, and as someone who wouldn't mind doing mixed animal practice (especially small ruminants and camelids, but cattle are okay too), it's much more daunting to go from wanting to do small animal to food animal than vice versa. Much of food animal medicine is husbandry and that's pretty difficult to get a good handle on unless you've owned and worked with those sorts of animals extensively. It's not a huge deal to own a dog or cat and most people have. But only a much smaller number of people this day and age have even touched a cow, let alone worked them. If you have a non-animal science major and go into your interview saying you want to work with dogs and cats, no one would bat an eye. But not having little to no animal science experience and/or no real world experience is not easy at all to switch over. I'm just starting to get a little, but it's much more difficult to get into without previous experience if you formerly only wanted to do small animal stuff.
I'm not saying that accepting a student who grew up on a farm, has worked with large animals primarily, and says they want to be a large animal vet isn't a good move. But certainly there are those people who get into vet school with intentions of going into LA medicine and suddenly get exposed to other options and decide, "You know what, I think I'll go into lab/exotic/SA medicine/public health." And vice versa, of course. Especially at schools that expose students to everything for a bit before they track/have no tracking at all, students (like me) who have never really worked with large animals will get that opportunity and may decide that that's the place for them.

I imagine that statistically it'll work out mostly in their favor to accept more students who state that they want to be LA, but I wonder if the benefit outweighs the mentioned drawbacks?
 

Electrophile

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Oh, no doubt. People do change quite frequently and that's totally okay. I'm just saying it's much more difficult to break into food animal (and equine too) if you come from a small animal background rather than vice versa if you have not grown up around horses and food animals or in the least, have a significant amount of experience shadowing/worked as a tech, and/or animal science classes. Not for my lack of trying though... :D
 

Bill59

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Purdue doing its part to increase tuition-generated revenue by 20%
Exactly. If schools only wanted to "help you out" they would be cutting tuition, not raising it every year. They are increasing enrollment for the same reason they are increasing tuition -- they need the money.

And the veterinarian shortage is a myth, or at least it's a lot more complex than just saying we don't have enough veterinarians so let's make more.

Finally remember the more veterinarians out there, the more competition.
 

Armymutt25A

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I'm a little less cynical, which is at complete odds with my nature. Tuition has to increase. Government subsidies can only go so far and with students demanding expensive technology, the university has to make up the cost someplace. The benefactor of the service is the most obvious and fair choice. With that technology comes the necessary defense requirements. These systems have to be on the same level as those used for national security in many cases. All of that costs money. How many of you would go to a school where there were 5 computers available for the entire department? That's how my undergrad years were.

I think the veterinarian shortage wouldn't be as dramatic if vets were willing to work where needed, rather than where they wanted - not necessarily the healthiest thing. The market and other forces should eventually increase the number of veterinarians in low density areas, or remove the requirement completely. Since when is competition a bad thing? It drives innovation.
 

dyachei

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I think the veterinarian shortage wouldn't be as dramatic if vets were willing to work where needed, rather than where they wanted - not necessarily the healthiest thing. The market and other forces should eventually increase the number of veterinarians in low density areas, or remove the requirement completely. Since when is competition a bad thing? It drives innovation.
It also drives down price - which, when you're trying to pay off loans, may make your life as a vet a lot harder.
 
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At UGA, they have a food animal incentive program where a select few from high school (around 4 or 5) from day 1 in college take a set schedule that they require and if by graduation they have either a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or GRE score of 1200, they get a seat in the upcoming veterinary class pursuing food animal medicine and management. UGA started this 3 years ago, so next year will be the first class making there way into vet school. Other schools should look into what UGA has been doing.
 

Armymutt25A

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It also drives down price - which, when you're trying to pay off loans, may make your life as a vet a lot harder.
Not necessarily. Through innovation, you can decrease the cost while maintaining the same profit, resulting in no net change in your income. Of course, being undercut by someone who has already paid off their loans doesn't work in your favor. This is where market forces come into play, driving a competing veterinarian, who is unable to reduce prices enough, into a lower density area where the competition is reduced and thus, the income is higher. Sucks, but it's the equivalent of being the junior member of a staff. Look on the bright side, under the student loan bill, you only have to pay 10% of your income on your loans for 20 years. After that, you just pay the income taxes on it. :D