The VISION of the Veterinary Debt Initiative is for veterinarians to thrive in rewarding and financially sustainable careers.

The MISSION of the Veterinary Debt Initiative is to educate, advocate and provide leadership to ensure veterinarians can pursue a lifetime of financial success in a personally and professionally rewarding career.

The STRATEGIC PLAN is to raise awareness and provide access to resources that will enable Pre-Veterinary students, veterinary students and veterinarians to make highly informed financial decisions.


Check out previous articles that have caught the Veterinary Debt Initiative's Attention!

AAVMC CEO Shares Perspective on Educational Debt

Educational debt in the United States now exceeds $1.5 trillion. Many experts believe this level of debt represents a substantial threat to future economic wellbeing. This debt-load is the result of decades of rising tuition costs that have occurred across the spectrum of higher education and professional school, and it has certainly affected academic veterinary medicine. Read more.

Veterinary Debt Initiative Q&A:
Dumb Friends League Launches Innovative Student Loan Repayment Program to Hire and Retain Talent While Upholding Core Values

The Veterinary Debt Initiative has developed a multi-year strategic plan that encompasses the identification of initiative priorities and the objectives that support them. Key action to accomplish the objectives have been mapped out in a timeline. View the Veterinary Debt Initiative Strategic Plan 2018-2021 in a charted format here.

Veterinary Debt Initiative Roundup

The Veterinary Debt Initiative periodically publishes a compendium of information, articles and links that pertain to the educational debt issue and VDI’s efforts to help all students and veterinarians thrive in their academic and professional careers.

October 1, 2019

Led by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives, the Veterinary Debt Initiative (VDI) is focused on helping veterinarians thrive in financially sustainable and rewarding careers. The VDI’s primary purpose is to raise awareness and provide access to resources that enable pre-veterinary students, veterinary students and veterinarians to make highly informed financial decisions. We want to bring your attention to these important resources and happenings:

VDI Focuses Efforts at Monthly Meeting

The lead organizations of the Veterinary Debt Initiative (VDI) convened Aug. 28 via teleconference for a monthly strategic planning and execution meeting. The VDI team firmed up its upcoming speaking opportunities at the AVMA Annual Economic Summit in October, the Wellbeing Summit in November and the Veterinary Leadership Conference in January. In an effort to promote success stories from organizations tackling the educational debt crisis, VDI published a comprehensive article about Dumb Friends League, a non-profit organization in Denver that launched an innovative student loan repayment program in 2019 for potential and current employees. The VDI also plans to continue directing its efforts in advocacy, research and resource development for the remainder of 2019.

SAVMA Develops Toolkit for Students to Use with Administrators

In the Oct. 15 issue of JAVMA News, Malinda Larkin showcased SAVMA’s new tuition transparency toolkit which was created to help students start a conversation about tuition with their veterinary colleges' administrators. Delegates received the tuition transparency toolkit during the SAVMA House of Delegates meeting Aug. 4-5 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Andrew Maccabe, CEO of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, shared the Veterinary Debt Initiative’s accompanying tuition infographic, "What's the Story Behind Tuition?” The AAVMC partners with the American Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Medical Association Executives to lead the Veterinary Debt Initiative.

New CE Webinars Address Financial Issues on AVMA Axon

Several new CE webinars addressing financial issues have been added to the course catalog on AVMA Axon. These webinars are available to all veterinary professionals, and are free for AVMA and Student AVMA (SAVMA) members:

Consolidation Counterpoint

Explore a wide range of exit strategies, other than selling to a consolidator, that can put an exiting owner on firm financial footing while also providing for ongoing veterinary ownership of the practice. Dr. Link Welborn, president of Veterinary Study Groups, discusses key aspects and staging of the succession process, and examines arithmetic and exit strategies utilized in an actual case. Access it here.

Navigating the Winds of Economic Change

Gain a solid understanding of today’s economy from AVMA’s chief economist, Matt Salois, Ph.D., and come away with action steps to help you prepare for what’s to come. You’ll learn to identify and parse current economic conditions and appreciate the trends in innovation that are impacting the veterinary profession. Access it here.

NPR Promotes Online Group Created to Help Veterinarians In Crisis

On Sept. 7, National Public Radio profiled the mental health crisis in the veterinary profession: “The CDC notes that…the debt, the long hours, the stress, the access to lethal drugs — put veterinarians at a high risk of suicide compared with the general population.” The article highlights the new Facebook group, Not One More Vet, which “tries to give veterinarians support and a sounding board for the stresses of their work.” The Facebook group currently has more than 18,000 members.

Please click here to view the entire October edition of the VDI Roundup. Click here for VDI Roundup archives.

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