dvm - January 2013 - (Page 44)
DEATH TO DEBT | Jeremy Campﬁeld, DVM
Put a dent in your school debt? Tell us how on Twitter. @dvm360 #deathtodebt
We’re not alone in the debt debacle
onths ago I began to chronicle my personal battle with a disease that’s plaguing an increasing number of veterinarians (see the May 2012 issue of this magazine). Whether you agreed or disagreed with my commentary, the statistics remain. According to the October 2012 issue of JAVMA, 52 percent of 2012 veterinary graduates are entering their beloved career with more than $140,000 in student loans. Now consider an average starting salary of $57,566 for the same year’s graduates (a decrease from 2011). For the majority of students, that amounts to a debt-to-startingsalary ratio of roughly 2.5. Now fgure in the compounding interest on the student loans (even small percentages of large sums add up to big dollars) and
Lessons from human medicine shed light on veterinary student debt.
you have a good feel for the boat we’re in. Are your socks getting wet? Most of you who graduated in the last fve years are living that burden every day. And now I hear we’re building some more veterinary schools and increasing class sizes. Good idea! (Pardon my sarcasm.)
We are not alone
When veterinarians are stuck, sometimes we need look to human medicine for reference. Granted, veterinarians are smarter, more talented, more physically attractive and—well, just better all around. Having set those diferences aside, though, I was allowed an interview with Julie Fresne, director of student fnancial services for the American
Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). With more than 20 years of experience working with student loans, Fresne proved to be a wonderful resource and a medical student debt guru. Her department’s mission is “to empower medical students to borrow wisely and repay responsibly” by helping to educate medical school administrators, students and residents. During our conversation I couldn’t help but picture a scholarly, yet ferce student-debt superhero blasting lasers at loan sheets and eating a fresh bowl of crunchy, chopped-up credit cards. We started of with some rough number comparisons. Te AAMC reports a median medical student debt of $170,000 for all 2012 graduates, which is a 5 percent increase from the
January 2013 | dvm360
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of dvm - January 2013
dvm - January 2013
Where did I go wrong?
Pets and Vets
CATalyst survey examines how veterinarians really feel about animal shelters and pet rescue organizations.
What’s new? What’s now?
Employee steals more than $400,000 from clinic
Longtime veterinarian killed in plane crash in California
Canadian SPCA concerned by number of “home neutering” reports
Arrest made in Minnesota veterinary hospital arson
Washington DVM accused of abusing patients, medications
When faced with disaster, practices need a plan
University of Minnesota celebrates 750,000th urolith
Death to debt
Letter of the law
dvm - January 2013