2020 Resident Salaries Offered Through the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program
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 receving 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 $35,807 for all resident trainees in the United States; for residents specifically entering training programs at academic institutions the mean salary was $35,246 (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. 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 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.


Summary of Findings for Resident Positions Filled Through the Match Program

The number of first year residency positions offered at academic institutions within the United States through the VIRMP for the 2019-2020 training year was 341, which is one position more than the number of positions offered over the previous cycle. A total of 45 academic institutions offered these positions.


For resident positions included in this analysis, the average starting salary was $35,098 or 2.0% lower than the salary offered in 2019. Academic residency positions listed through the matching program were most often located in the South (39.0%) and Midwest (28.2%).  Although only 15.2% 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 $39,062, which is $3,964 more than the national average. This statistically significant difference (p = .000) is likely attributable to differences in the cost of living across regions.  For example, as of April 2, 2020, residents training in Davis, California will pay 63.0% more in rent than residents in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Numbeo.com, 2020). A breakdown of average salary by region can be found in Table 1, while a per state breakdown can be found in Table 2.

 

Table 1

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by Region

 

Region

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Median

Midwest

28.2%

$32,955

$31,000

North East

17.6%

$37,401

$36,118

South

39.0%

$34,057

$32,000

West

15.2%

$39,062

$43,482

Total

100.0%

$35,098

$34,157


 

Table 2

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by State

State

Percentage of All Positions

Mean

Median

Alabama

2.6%

$31,350

$31,350

California

7.9%

$45,002

$43,482

Colorado

3.5%

$33,000

$32,500

Connecticut

.3%

$52,000

$52,000

Florida

6.2%

$37,000

$37,000

Georgia

6.2%

$34,789

$31,364

Illinois

2.3%

$35,093

$30,767

Indiana

2.1%

$31,000

$31,000

Iowa

2.3%

$29,000

$29,000

Kansas

2.3%

$34,157

$34,157

Louisiana

4.1%

$33,971

$30,375

Maryland

.6%

$48,432

$48,432

Massachusetts

5.0%

$37,567

$36,118

Michigan

2.9%

$38,550

$34,315

Minnesota

3.2%

$34,273

$31,000

Mississippi

1.8%

$30,367

$30,400

Missouri

4.1%

$30,490

$27,500

New York

5.6%

$39,558

$36,500

North Carolina

6.2%

$35,000

$35,000

Ohio

4.1%

$35,892

$35,000

Oklahoma

1.5%

$29,000

$29,000

Oregon

1.2%

$33,300

$33,300

Pennsylvania

6.7%

$34,862

$31,000

Tennessee

3.2%

$30,409

$28,000

Texas

5.3%

$32,298

$30,176

Virginia

1.5%

$37,875

$35,844

Washington

2.6%

$31,887

$29,772

Wisconsin

4.7%

$29,300

$29,000

Total

100.0%

$35,098

$34,157

 

Twenty-three different practice areas were represented in the match data with a mean salary rage of $31,409 (equine surgery) to $47,176 (laboratory animal medicine/comparative medicine). It is important to differentiate between clinical and non-clinical trainees as the salary offers differ significantly and directly impacts this range.

Non-clinical residencies in Laboratory Medicine/Comparative Medicine represented 13% of position offered through the match program. Salaries offered for these training positions were significantly more than their clinical resident counterparts participating in the matching program (p = .000).  As noted earlier, applicants to these non-clinical programs were offered positions with an average starting salary of $47,176, while applicants to clinical residency programs were offered $33.3099 or 29.3% less in salary.


Table 3 shows the mean residency salary offerings by practice area. Positions in laboratory animal/comparative medicine comprised the largest single group of offerings by positions (12.9%). Positions in behavior and sports medicine/rehabilitation offered the least number of positions in the VIRMP, .6% each.

 


Table 3:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Residency Positions by Practice Area

Practice Area

% of Positions

Mean

Median

Anesthesia

4.4%

$33,709

$34,315

Behavior

.6%

$35,000

$35,000

Cardiology

3.5%

$31,433

$30,884

Clinical Nutrition

.9%

$32,994

$28,000

Dentistry

1.2%

$35,196

$33,750

Dermatology

1.5%

$37,028

$37,000

Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

6.5%

$33,088

$32,650

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

9.7%

$33,088

$31,364

Equine Medicine

2.6%

$36,488

$35,000

Equine Surgery

2.9%

$31,409

$30,775

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

.9%

$36,494

$37,000

Food Animal Medicine & Surgery

1.5%

$34,828

$34,157

Herd Medicine/Agricultural Practices/Herd Production

1.5%

$34,596

$37,000

Laboratory Animal/Comparative Medicine

12.9%

$47,176

$48,432

Large Animal Medicine

5.9%

$33,573

$32,650

Large Animal Surgery

3.2%

$33,768

$34,500

Neurology/Neurosurgery

4.4%

$34,266

$35,000

Oncology

5.6%

$33,516

$32,500

Radiation Oncology/Therapy

2.6%

$32,030

$31,000

Small Animal Medicine

11.7%

$32,462

$31,000

Small Animal Surgery

10.9%

$33,049

$32,000

Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

.6%

$32,500

$32,500

Theriogenology

2.6%

$32,744

$32,000

Zoological Medicine

2.1%

$33,314

$31,364

Total

100%

$35,098

$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  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 declined by 2.0. Finally, salaries and residencies are influenced by numerous things including location and practice area.

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. 2 April, 2020.

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. & Young, Kendall. “2019 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. May 2019. Web.

 

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Please cite as:

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2020 Resident Trainee Salaries Offered through the Veterinary Internship and Residency Match Program.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. April 2020. Web.