2016 Resident and Intern Salaries

2016 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP

September 2016

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According to the annual Senior Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) between 2010 and 2014, 47.6% of graduates from professional DVM programs pursue additional training via internship (AVMA, 2015). Recent graduates report hope to receiving additional hands on training and mentoring, as well as pursue specialized experience as reasons for pursuing internships. A smaller number of these professionals go on to pursue residency training with the goal of earning additional degrees and/or board certification.


In the short term, pursuit of additional learning experiences has a negative impact on the salaries earned by new graduates. Historically, post-DVM training programs have paid salaries far lower than the national average for recent graduates.   In 2015, AVMA reported new graduate veterinarians earned an average annual salary of $70,543. That same year, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) reported an average salary of $26,572 for interns at colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States and an average salary of $32,706 for residents completing their training at a college of veterinary medicine. (AAVMC, 2015)


In an effort to broaden the profession’s understanding of trainee salaries, the AAVMC has partnered with the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) to study the full complement of residencies and internships offered through a matching program.



The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) sponsors the annual Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP).   The purpose of the program is to “expedite the selection of interns and residencies for participating veterinary colleges and private veterinary practices.” (AAVC, 2016). The VIRMP allows academic institutions and private practices to submit training positions to be filled and applicants to submit their applications and rankings to the VIRMP. Program coordinators review the applications and rank the applicants. Proprietary software used by the VIRMP determines the best matches based on the rankings and notifies the applicants and the program coordinators.


This process begins annually in September of each year when the training program coordinators from individual residency and internship training programs enter their program information into the matching program’s website ( www.virmp.org ). Program coordinators enter detailed information about the positions being offered; the salary being offered is entered as a free-text field.


In the spring of 2016, this data was provided to AAVMC for analysis. Prior to analysis, all free text entered salary information was standardized using US currency formatting. Canadian dollars were converted to the US dollar using an online currency converter (XE Currency Converter , 2016). Residency and internship position offerings were sorted by clinical and non-clinical types; clinical positions were again sorted by practice area.   The position entry data included the state location and the name of the institution or practice offering each position.   These data were organized using regional variables and a variable descriptive variable indicating whether the practice was located at an academic institution or a private practice.


Descriptive and ANOVA analyses were conducted using SPSS 22.



There are two kinds of residents, non-clinical and clinical residents. Non-Clinical residents are defined as individuals involved in basic science training programs. Clinical residents are defined as individuals involved in a three year advanced training program in a specialty area in veterinary medicine. This training may or may not lead to a specialty board certification and may or may not be embedded within a graduate program.


Clinical interns are defined as individuals participating in a one year rotating or specialty clinical training program in veterinary medicine. The internship provides practical experience in applying knowledge gained during formal professional education and offers the opportunity for recent graduates to obtain additional training.


Summary of Findings for Resident Positions Filled through the Match Program

The number of first year residency positions offered through the VIRMP for the 2016-2017 training year was 363; 309 (85.1%) of these positions were offered by academic institutions in the United States and Canada.   For all listed resident positions, the average starting salary was $33,262, and there was no statistical difference between positions offered in academic or private settings.


Resident positions listed through the matching program were most often located in the South (27.6%) and Midwest (26.8%).   Only 3.0% of positions were located in Canada.  (Table 1).   Although only 18.4% of residents are expected to train in the Western region this year, that region offers the highest starting salary of all listed resident positions at $38,330, which is $5,000 more than the national average. This statistically significant difference (p = .000) is likely attributable to differences in the cost of living, including housing, across regions.   For example, as of July 13, 2016, residents training in Davis, California will need $4,351 more in salary to maintain a comparable standard of living as residents training in Athens, Georgia (Numbeo.com, 2016). Applicants to residency positions in Canada were offered 30.6% less in salary when salaries were adjusted to US currency. This is also likely explained by differences in the cost of living; for example, housing is substantially less costly (26.25%) in Canada (Numbeo.com, 2016). A breakdown of average salary by region can be found in Table 1.


Table 1:

Average Salary Offered for Resident Positions by Region

US & Canada



Percentage of Positions Listed























Residency match offerings were sorted into categories associated with specialty areas (Table 2).

Table 2:

Average Resident Salary Offered by Practice Type

US & Canada


Area of Practice

Number of Positions Listed

Percentage of Positions Listed











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