2019 Resident Salaries Offered through the VIRMP

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

May, 2019

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Introduction

According to the annual Senior Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 34% percent of 2017 graduates pursued additional training by internship (Bain, Salois, Ouedraogo, Hanson & Dutton, 2018).  Recent graduates report receiving additional hands on training and mentoring, as well as seeking specialized experience as reasons for pursuing an internship or residency. A smaller number of these professionals go on to pursue residency training with the goal of earning additional degrees and/or board certification.

 

Historically, post-DVM training programs have paid salaries far lower than the national average for recent graduates.  In 2018, AVMA reported new graduate veterinarians earned an average annual salary of $76,633 (Larkin, 2018). In 2018, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) reported an average salary of $35,021 for first year residents in training programs in the United States (Greenhill & Young, 2018).

 

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. This publication focuses exclusively on first year salaries for residency programs in the United States.

 

Methodology

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, 2018). 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 2019, this data was provided to AAVMC for analysis. Prior to analysis, all free text entered salary information was standardized using US currency formatting. Residency 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 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.

 

Definitions

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 in the United States through the VIRMP for the 2019-2020 training year was 402, which represented a 14.2% increase in the number of positions offered over the previous cycle. Positions were offered in two categories: academic institutions and private practices. A total of 73 entities offered positions for the 2019-2020 training year. Academic institutions continue to offer the bulk of residency training positions; institutions offered 342 or 85.1% of positions offered at 46 sites. 

 

For all listed resident positions, the average starting salary was $35,807 or 2.2% higher than the salary offered in 2018. The increase also represented a larger increase than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) (1.5%) for the period April 2018 to March 2019 (Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2019). There was also a statistical difference between positions offered in academic or private settings, with privately offered residency applicants being offered $39,006 and academically offered residency applicants being offered $35,246 or 10.7% less (p-.000). Salaries among privately offered positions appear to be rising more rapidly than those offered within academic institutions; in 2018, the salary difference between private and academic offerings was 7.2% or 3.5% less than the differential found in this year’s data.  

 

Resident positions listed through the matching program were most often located in the South (34.8%) and Midwest (25.4%).  Although only 16.9% of residents are expected to train in the Western region this year, that region continues to offer the highest starting salary of all listed resident positions at $40,778, which is $4,971 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 May 8, 2018, residents training in Davis, California will need $1,311 more in salary to maintain a comparable standard of living as residents training in Athens, Georgia (Numbeo.com, 2019). A breakdown of average salary by region can be found in Table 1.


 

 


Table 1:

Average Salary Offered for Resident Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

25.4%

$33,624

$31,000

Northeast

22.9%

$37,015

$36,118

South

34.8%

$34,190

$32,000

West

16.9%

$40,779

$43,482

Total

100.0%

$35,807

$34,315

 

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

 

Table 2:

Average Resident Salary Offered by Practice Type

Area of Practice

Number of Positions Listed

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median Salary

Anesthesia

15

3.7%

$33,709

$34,315

Behavior

2

.5%

$35,000

$35,000

Cardiology

15

3.7%

$32,384

$31,000

Clinical Nutrition

3

.7%

$32,994

$28,000

Dentistry

4

1.0%

$35,196

$33,750

Dermatology

5

1.2%

$37,028

$37,000

Diagnostic Imagine and Radiology

24

6.0%

$32,769

$31,996

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

61

15.2%

$37,147

$35,000

Equine Medicine

9

2.2%

$36,488

$35,000

Equine Surgery

10

2.5%

$31,409

$30,775

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

4

1.0%

$35,696

$34,750

Food Animal Medicine & Surgery

5

1.2%

$34,828

$34,157

Herd Medicine/Agricultural Practices/Herd Production

5

1.2%

$34,596

$37,000

Laboratory Medicine/Comparative Medicine

45

11.2%

$47,853

$48,432

Large Animal Medicine

20

5.0%

$33,613

$32,650

Large Animal Surgery

11

2.7%

$33,768

$34,500

Neurology/Neurosurgery

19

4.7%

$35,476

$35,000

Oncology

20

5.0%

$33,343

$31,932

Radiation Oncology/Therapy

9

2.2%

$32,030

$31,000

Small Animal Medicine

51

12.7%

$33,526

$31,364

Small Animal Surgery

46

11.4%

$33,775

$32,750

Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

3

.7%

$35,000

$37,000

Theriogenology

9

2.2%

$32,744

$32,000

Zoological Medicine

7

1.7%

$33,429

$31,364

Total

402

100.0%

$35,807

$34,315

 

 

Although salaries within the sample ranged from $31,409 per year up to $47,853 year, average salary offers across practice areas largely clustered in the low $30,000 range. Positions for clinical trainees in Emergency Medicine/Critical Care comprised the single largest group of positions listed (15.2%). Although most salary offers were fairly close to the mean, statistically significant differences were found across practice areas (p=.000).  These differences may well be mitigated by the very small sample sizes within each practice category.

                                                                                           

Non-clinical Residency Training

It is important to differentiate between clinical and non-clinical trainees as the salary offers differ significantly.

Trainees pursuing non-clinical residencies in Laboratory Medicine/Comparative Medicine were offered significantly more than their clinical resident counterparts participating in the matching program (p = .000).  Applicants to these non-clinical programs were offered positions with an average starting salary of $47,219 while applicants to clinical residency programs were offered $34,149 or 38.3% less in salary.  It should be noted that the total number of positions listed for laboratory animal medicine comprised 12.7% of all positions listed in the VIRMP for the year reviewed.

 

Academic Residency Offerings

As noted earlier, academic institutions offered 342 residency positions in the match for the 2019-2020 employment year. The mean salary positions offered was $35,807, with a salary range of $32,994 to $47,853. The largest percentage of positions could be found in the South (33.1%) and Midwest regions (23.9%). Salaries in the Northeast and West were significantly higher than in other regions (P=.000). Table 3 provides salary averages for academic residency positions by region, while Table 4 provides salary averages by state where academic residency opportunities are offered.

 


Table 3:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

23.9%

$33,038

$31,000

Northeast

14.9%

$37,767

$36,118

South

33.1%

$34,100

$32,000

West

13.2%

$39,269

$43,482

Total

85.1%

$35,246

$34,157

 


 

Table 4:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by State

State

Mean

Median

 

Alabama

$31,350

$31,350

 

California

$45,002

$43,482

 

Colorado

$33,000

$32,500

 

Connecticut

$52,000

$52,000

 

Florida

$37,000

$37,000

 

Georgia

$34,939

$31,364

 

Illinois

$35,093

$30,767

 

Indiana

$31,000

$31,000

 

Iowa

$29,000

$29,000

 

Kansas

$34,157

$34,157

 

Louisiana

$33,971

$30,375

 

Maryland

$48,432

$48,432

 

Massachusetts

$37,567

$36,118

 

Michigan

$38,550

$34,315

 

Minnesota

$34,273

$31,000

 

Mississippi

$30,367

$30,400

 

Missouri

$30,490

$27,500

 

New York

$40,714

$36,500

 

North Carolina

$35,000

$35,000

 

Ohio

$35,892

$35,000

 

Oklahoma

$29,000

$29,000

 

Oregon

$36,641

$33,300

 

Pennsylvania

$34,862

$31,000

 

Tennessee

$30,409

$28,000

 

Texas

$32,437

$30,176

 

Virginia

$37,875

$35,844

 

Washington

$31,887

$29,772

 

Wisconsin

$29,800

$29,800

 

Total

$35,246

$34,157

 

 

Table 5 shows the mean residency salary offerings by practice area. Positions in laboratory animal/comparative medicine comprised the largest single group of offerings by positions (11.2%), and these positions offered a higher salary than others offered across practice area. Most salaries offered were clustered close to $32,000.


 

Table 5:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by Practice Area

Practice Area

% of Positions

Mean

Median

Anesthesia

3.7%

$33,709

$34,315

Behavior

.5%

$35,000

$35,000

Cardiology

3.0%

$31,500

$30,884

Clinical Nutrition

.7%

$32,994

$28,000

Dentistry

1.0%

$35,196

$33,750

Dermatology

1.2%

$37,028

$37,000

Diagnostic Imagine and Radiology

5.5%

$33,088

$32,650

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

8.2%

$33,136

$31,364

Equine Surgery

2.2%

$36,488

$35,000

Equine Medicine

2.5%

$31,409

$30,775

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

.7%

$36,761

$37,000

Food Animal Medicine & Surgery

1.2%

$34,828

$34,157

Herd Medicine/Agricultural Practices/Herd Production

1.2%

$34,596

$37,000

Laboratory Medicine/Comparative Medicine

11.2%

$47,853

$48,432

Large Animal Medicine

5.0%

$33,613

$32,650

Large Animal Surgery

10.0%

$32,502

$31,000

Neurology/Neurosurgery

3.7%

$34,319

$35,000

Oncology

4.7%

$33,558

$32,500

Radiation Oncology/Therapy

2.2%

$32,030

$31,000

Small Animal Medicine

.5%

$32,500

$32,500

Small Animal Surgery

2.7%

$33,768

$34,500

Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

9.2%

$33,049

$32,000

Theriogenology

2.2%

$32,744

$32,000

Zoological Medicine

1.7%

$33,429

$31,364

Total

85.1%

$35,246

$34,157

 

 

Limitations

The salary data acquired from the VIRMP only represents a portion of available residency and intern positions offered in the United States. It is unclear how many positions are offered to new and recent graduates of the professional DVM program. Because of this, the authors are unable to claim that this data is wholly definitive of the salary ranges that may be offered to residents in the United States.

 

Conclusion

Residents are offered salaries that roughly less than half the national average salary earned by new graduates, however, there is a wide range of salaries within those offered. Overall, resident salaries rose more than the CPI for the last year. Finally, salaries and residencies are influenced by numerous things including location, practice area and whether the position is offered by an academic institution or a private practice. 

 

Acknowledgements

The AAVMC acknowledges the contributions of the staff of the VIRMP for providing access to the match data.

 

 

 

References

 

Cost of Living. Numbeo, n.d. Web. 8 May. 2019.

 

Consumer Price Index—March 2019. Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor. Web. 8 May 2098.  

Web.

 

Bain, Bridgette; Salois, Matt; Ouedraogo, Frederic; Hanson, Charlotte; and Dutton, Barbara. 2018 AVMA Report on Veterinary Education. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, 2018. Print.

 

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2018 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. June 2018. Web.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Please cite as:

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2019 Resident Trainee Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. May 2019. Web.