December 28, 2012

A Veterinary Medicine "Bubble"?

Law professor and blogger Glen Reynolds often talks about the "bubble" in legal education—new law schools opening, older ones expanding, even as few graduates find jobs in their field but leave school with their JD and a huge load of debt.

Now he suggests that something similar is going on in veterinary medicine.

The vet clinic that we use most is basically a father-and-son (and for a time, daughter) operation — plus a revolving cast of new Colorado State University graduates, especially on the small-animal side.

You go and meet with "Dr. Susie" or "Dr. Kevin," and on the next visit, it's someone else.

Dog-blogger Patrick Burns often rants about vets up-selling additional tests and services just to pad the bottom line.

Maybe there is a connection. Too many vets, not enough clients? And are "Dr. Susie" and "Dr. Kevin" underemployed and carrying their own load of debt?


Heather Houlahan said...


But only in small animal practice.

Huge need for practitioners in large animal practice.

And just try to find someone to handle small ruminants or a home poultry flock in much of the country.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Heather, don't you think there is a connection between there being more women vets and more small-animal-only practice?

But yes, someone should handle those home poultry flocks. In my area, at least, there is only about one dedicated bird vet per 300,000 people.

Ah for my one-time vet, a generalist of the old school, who looked as though he could drop a steer with one blow of his fist.

He retired and sold his practice to a woman, and I'm not sure but what she stopped doing livestock.