2020 Academic Internship Salaries Offered through the VIRMP
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
April, 2020

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Introduction

According to the annual Senior Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 28% percent of 2019 graduates pursued additional training by internship (Bain, Hansen, Ouedraogo & Salois, June 2020).  Recent graduates report receiving additional hands on training and mentoring, as well as pursuing 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.

Historically, post-DVM training programs have paid salaries far lower than the national average for recent graduates.  In 2019, AVMA reported new graduate veterinarians earned an average annual full-time salary of $86,031 (Bain, Hansen, Ouedraogo & Salois, June 2020 (anticipated)). The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) reported an average salary of $35,423 for all interns in training programs in the United States; for interns specifically entering training programs at academic institutions the mean salary was $28,372 (Greenhill & Young, 2019).

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 salaries for academic internship 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, 2020). 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 2020, this data was provided to AAVMC for analysis. Prior to analysis, all free text entered salary information was standardized using US currency formatting. The position entry data included the state location, the name of the institution offering each position, and the number of positions offered through the match program. These data were organized using regional variables.

Descriptive and ANOVA analyses were conducted using SPSS 22.

Definitions
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 Internship Positions Filled Through the Match Program
The number of internship positions offered in the United States through the VIRMP for the 2019-2020 training year was 345 across 28 academic institutions. There was no change in the number of academic internship positions offered through the VIMRP when compared to 2018-2019 data. Additionally, the mean starting salary remained the same $28,372.

Academic internship positions listed through the matching program were most often located in the South (40.6%) and the Midwest (29.6%). Positions in the Western and Northeast regions offered higher salaries than in other regions, which can be explained by the increased standard of living in those regions.


A breakdown of average salary by region can be found in Table 1.

 


Table 1:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

29.60%

$27,725

$27,000

Northeast

15.10%

$29,304

$27,212

South

40.60%

$27,919

$27,000

West

14.80%

$29,960

$28,000

Total

100.00%

$28,372

$27,212

 

Mean salaries by state are shown in Table 2.

 

Table 2:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by State

State

Mean

Median

N

% of Total N

Alabama

$25,765

$26,000

17

4.9%

Arizona

$35,000

$35,000

4

1.2%

California

$41,067

$43,482

5

1.4%

Colorado

$29,038

$28,000

13

3.8%

Florida

$31,000

$31,000

17

4.9%

Georgia

$29,065

$29,160

12

3.5%

Illinois

$26,153

$26,153

18

5.2%

Indiana

$29,050

$29,050

8

2.3%

Iowa

$26,000

$26,000

11

3.2%

Kansas

$32,774

$32,774

12

3.5%

Louisiana

$26,327

$26,660

15

4.3%

Massachusetts

$27,406

$27,212

20

5.8%

Michigan

$26,250

$26,250

14

4.1%

Minnesota

$27,786

$28,000

14

4.1%

Mississippi

$24,733

$24,000

9

2.6%

Missouri

$27,000

$27,000

13

3.8%

New York

$34,900

$34,900

13

3.8%

North Carolina

$32,000

$32,000

21

6.1%

Ohio

$28,167

$28,000

12

3.5%

Oklahoma

$26,722

$26,500

9

2.6%

Oregon

$31,776

$31,776

6

1.7%

Pennsylvania

$27,474

$26,500

19

5.5%

Tennessee

$25,000

$25,000

13

3.8%

Texas

$27,291

$26,670

17

4.9%

Virginia

$27,600

$27,000

10

2.9%

Washington

$26,064

$26,064

12

3.5%

Wisconsin

$27,427

$26,900

11

3.2%

Total

$28,372

$27,212

345

100.0%

 

An analysis of application requirements revealed that 12.8% of intern positions required at least one previous year’s internship or comparable experience. These requirements are positively correlated with slightly higher salary offers (P=.004). Mean salary offers featuring experience requirements were 5.2% higher than salaries without the requirement (Table 3).

 

Table 3:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Experience Requirements

Previous Experience Requirements

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

No Previous Internship Required

86.7%

$28,185

$27,212

Previous Internship Required

13.3

$29,651

$26,936

Total

100.0%

$28,372

$27,212

 

An analysis of position offerings by practice area reveals that the bulk of positions are in Small Animal Medicine/Surgery (58.6%). The single cardiology internship position offered the highest mean salary of $32,774, which is 13.4% higher than the national average. Salary differences across practice areas were statistically significant (P=.004); Table 4 shows the mean salaries offered by practice area.

 


Table 4:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Practice Area

Practice Area

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Median

Agricultural Practices

0.6%

$26,064

$26,064

Ambulatory

0.3%

$25,000

$25,000

Anesthesiology

1.2%

$28,038

$27,000

Avian

0.6%

$27,000

$27,000

Cardiology

0.3%

$32,774

$32,774

Community Practice

0.3%

$27,212

$27,212

Dermatology

0.6%

$30,527

$30,527

Diagnostic Imagine and Radiology

0.6%

$31,687

$31,687

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

5.2%

$31,241

$28,139

Equine

4.6%

$28,257

$27,106

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

4.1%

$29,813

$31,000

Farm Practice/Production Animal Medicine

0.9%

$29,667

$31,000

Food Animal

2.3%

$28,367

$28,000

Large Animal Rotating

3.8%

$27,742

$28,000

Large Animal Surgery

0.9%

$27,371

$27,212

Neurology

1.2%

$26,054

$26,032

Oncology

4.9%

$27,751

$26,153

Other

1.2%

$27,562

$27,705

Shelter Medicine

3.5%

$30,665

$30,400

Small Animal Internal Medicine

1.2%

$26,351

$26,202

Small Animal Rotating

58.6%

$28,038

$27,000

Small Animal Surgery

2.9%

$28,351

$26,830

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

0.6%

$31,750

$31,750

Total

100.0%

$28,372

$27,212

 

Limitations

The salary data acquired from the VIRMP only represents a portion of available internship positions offered at academic institutions within the United States. There were 1,022 internships offered through the match to private practice training programs in addition to the 345 academic internships explored in this paper. Although it is believed that the match data represents the majority of internships offered; 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 these data are wholly definitive of the salary ranges that may be offered to residents in the United States.

Conclusion
Interns are offered salaries less than half the national average earned by new graduates, however, there is a notable range of salaries within those offered. Finally, salaries 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

Bain, Bridgette; Hanson, Charlotte, Ouedraogo, Frederic, and Salois Matt. 2019 AVMA Report on Veterinary Education. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, June 2020 anticipated.

Greenhill, Lisa M. "2018 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP." Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, May, 2019. Web.


Please cite as:
Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2020Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. April, 2020. Web.