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The question as to whether graduates of veterinary colleges are staying in the profession, what their incomes are, and what the character of their work is are topics of frequent inquiry.
An attempt was made by the survey to discover the present occupations of veterinary graduates from the land-grant institutions. Three hundred and twenty-one graduates and 59 ex-students returned questionnaires dealing with this and other matters. Tabulation of occupations gave the following results: No reply, 2; farming, 29; engineering, 4; forestry, 1; veterinary medicine, 301; education, 5; commerce and business, 24; and others, 14.
Inasmuch as only graduates can engage in the practice of veterinary medicine, it is evident that the 301 in veterinary medicine all came from the 321 graduates. This would indicate that approximately 94 per cent of those who graduate in veterinary medicine follow their profession.
From data collected by Dr. V. A. Moore, of the New York State Veterinary College, it is learned that 55 per cent of the 676 graduates of that institution are in general practice. About 8.5 per cent are engaged in education and research in connection with veterinary or agricultural colleges; 6.36 per cent are employed by the Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture; 5.5 per cent are employed by large dairy companies; 3.1 per cent are employed as county veterinarians; 2.8 per cent are veterinary officers in the United States Army; 2 per cent are engaged in State veterinary service; 1.8 per cent are in city inspection and public health work; 2.36 per cent are employed by commercial drug and biological houses; 0.88 per cent are in human medicine; 4.8 per cent are in other business; and 7.39 per cent are dead. Of the 511 living alumni engaged in veterinary work, 400, or 78.2 per cent, are within the State of New York. Thus it appears that 94.3 per cent are engaged in some phase of veterinary medicine.
Of the 596 alumni of the Iowa State College 34 are reported in other business than veterinary medicine. This leaves about 94.3 per cent in the profession.
The figures from three entirely independent sources agree very closely, that between 94 and 95 per cent of the men graduating in veterinary medicine follow that profession.
As to the origin of the veterinary students there has been considerable discussion. Of the 380 graduates and ex-students concerned in the land-grant college survey, 239, or approximately 62.9 per cent, were farm reared. The survey of the Iowa State College alumini indicated that 58 per cent were farm reared.
Income.—Reports from 206 graduates and 59 ex-students in veterinary medicine at land-grant colleges revealed the following concerning their incomes 10 years after leaving school: Less than $500, 1; $500 to $999, 3; $1,000 to $1,999, 33; $2,000 to $2,999, 73; $3,000 to $4,999, 67; $5,000 to $7,499, 16; $7,500 to $9,999, 12; and $10,000 to $19,999, 1.
A survey made by one veterinary college (Iowa) in 1925 which included alumni who had graduated from 1880 up to and including the year 1925, revealed a wide range of income as indicated by the following figures : Less than $500, 1; $500 to $999, 2; $1,000 to $1,999, 11; $2,000 to $2,999, 30; $3,000 to $4,999, 30; $5,000 to $7,499, 12; $7,500 to $9,999, 2; and $10,000 and more, 3.
Chapter IX. Conclusions and Recommendations
The field of veterinary medicine is based on the medical sciences and the service of the veterinarian consists of the application of these sciences to problems in animal industry, public health, and national defense in the interest of human welfare. There is only one source of trained men for this service-10 veterinary colleges connected with land-grant colleges and universities and one a part of a university receiving State support. The quality and policies of these institutions determine, therefore, the future character of the profession and the kind of service it renders. The nature of the service demanded of the veterinary profession is gradually becoming more variable and touches the field of human medicine on the one hand and the problems in animal industry on the other hand.
Little or no specialization has been permitted up to the present time in veterinary education. If students are well trained in the fundamental veterinary sciences (anatomy, including biology, pathology and bacteriology, physiology and pharmacology) they will be prepared with slight additional training to render a wide variety of service.
In order to maintain the veterinary profession and provide men for additions to the present service, not fewer than 500 to 600 graduates are needed every year. Most of the veterinary colleges to-day are inadequate in the equipment and personnel required to provide the graduates required. Further, insufficient provision is made for a research program with adequate funds and well-trained personnel without which no veterinary college should be rated as a class A institution.
Apparently some of the 11 veterinary colleges are not properly located. Others have very inadequate faculties or buildings and equipment, and poor financial support, while the course of study shows no uniformity as to the amount of time devoted to the variqus subjects.
There is no need for a veterinary college in each one of our 48 States. In fact, 10 or 12 schools, each with an average graduating class of from 50 to 60 would seem at the present time to be sufficient.
It would seem logical that the veterinary colleges should be located with some consideration as to the distribution of the profession in the United States. This to a certain extent has automatically taken place. The exceptions to this have been in the South and West. The map
indicates the number of veterinarians in the United States hy States and the area from each school might reasonably be expected to draw most of its students. The approximate number of veterinarians in the area is indicated by the underscored number near the location of the college.
It will be noted that the number of veterinarians in the areas served by the veterinary colleges of Alabama and Georgia is very small, fewer than 450 in each area. If these two veterinary colleges were united the combined demand of the two sections, as represented
by replacements in the profession and by natural development, should be sufficient to support a strong school of veterinary medicine. Even then the combined areas would not have the veterinary population represented by most of the other areas.
The area west of the Rocky Mountains might be best served by having a veterinary college in California. California is at present giving more support to veterinary medicine in the University of California, although it does not have a veterinary college, than Washington is giving to the veterinary college at Pullman. A glance at the map will show that the State of Washington had in the 1920 census report only 177 veterinarians and the veterinary college is, very properly from the standpoint of Washington alone, being supported on the basis of its own needs. California has about one-half of all
the veterinarians west of the Rockies within its own borders, while the only veterinary college in this area is removed almost as far as possible and still be in the United States and west of the Rockies.
The States having veterinary colleges draw their students more largely from within their own borders than from without, although each veterinary college should serve to provide veterinary education to an average of more than three States in addition to its own.
Data relating to the extent to which veterinary colleges have served other States than their own in the past are available from only two institutions. In the case of New York, 581, or nearly 86 per cent of the 676 graduates, came from the State of New York. A little over 12 per cent came from the other States, and a little less than 2 per cent came from foreign countries.
Of the 623 graduates of Iowa State College (including 1930), 468 or 75 per cent, came from the State of Iowa, approximately 2 per rent came from foreign countries, a little over 13 per cent came from States adjoining Iowa; the remainder came from the various other States. From 1920 to 1929, inclusive, the 214 graduates, however, show a different distribution, as 80, or over 37 per cent, came from i outside the State of Iowa. There can be no doubt that the cling of the two veterinary colleges in Illinois, as well as the two in Missouri (all private), is largely responsible for this change. Several States with a large veterinary population Illinois, Missouri, Indiana-had thriving private veterinary colleges for a number of years, and these schools have been closed for a period of only about 10 years. The present land-grant colleges will therefore need to serve these States to a much greater extent in the future than they have in the past unless these States establish veterinary colleges of their own. It would be logical to locate any new veterinary college in one of the Central West States—Indiana, Illinois, or Missouri.
Each State that supports a veterinary college extends to its neighboring States a considerable service in training veterinarians. To what extent should the 11 States now supporting colleges of veterinary medicine tax themselves to educate young men from neighboring States? Besides funds from tuition or service by the veterinary college, there are three principal sources of financial support, the States, the Nation, and endowments. The private veterinary college subsisted on tuition and service fees, but the faculty and equipment necessary to operate even a fair college offering instruction in any branch of medicine to-day requires expenditures far beyond what could reasonably be collected in this manner. Veterinary education is now supported almost entirely by the public funds of the 11 States in which the veterinary colleges are located. No national funds have been appropriated for this purpose. Some of the veterinary colleges