Coming Soon: Veterinary Schools In Arizona, Tennessee

Coming Soon: Veterinary Schools in Arizona, Tennessee

A building housing classrooms and facilities for the new College of Veterinary Medicine will be built at the north end of Midwestern University’s Glendale, Ariz., campus.

Photo courtesy of Midwestern University

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The endorsements signify that the universities and their colleges of veterinary medicine are well-prepared to meet 11 AVMA accreditation standards.

Both Midwestern and Lincoln Memorial are moving rapidly to launch their veterinary programs and recruit students.

Midwestern broke ground this year in Glendale, Ariz., on a $100 million project that includes construction of an academic building, a large animal teaching facility and a small animal clinic. The college will be the first in Arizona to offer a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

The program should be eligible for provisional accreditation in 2014 and full accreditation in 2018, Midwestern reported.

"The entire team … has done an excellent job in developing the plans for this new college,” said Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., Midwestern’s president and CEO. "The AVMA has extremely high standards as an accrediting group and we are pleased that our plan has met their requirements.”

Midwestern announced plans for the college in March 2012. The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education last fall issued a certificate of authority for Midwestern to offer the DVM degree, and the Higher Learning Commission approved the degree in May.

The private, nonprofit institution awards graduate degrees at campuses in Glendale and Downers Grove, Ill. About 100 students are expected to enroll in the inaugural veterinary class.

Lincoln Memorial, a private, four-year liberal arts college located in Harrogate, Tenn., received its Letter of Reasonable Assurance this month, just over a year before it welcomes its first veterinary medicine students.

"The approval … will propel this university to even greater heights and establish LMU as a leader in professional studies for the region,” said Autry O.V. "Pete” DeBusk, chairman of the board of trustees.

Lincoln Memorial’s interest in starting a veterinary school was announced in 2011. The college will be part of the Division of Health Sciences, which includes the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, a physician assistant program, the Caylor School of Nursing and the School of Allied Health Sciences, which includes a veterinary technology program.

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"We have assembled an exemplary team of professionals to develop this program,” university president B. James Dawson said.

Lincoln Memorial is about 60 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., the home of the long-established University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Midwestern and Lincoln Memorial this year became the 29th and 30th members of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Both will use the association’s Veterinary Medical College Application Service, which assists students in applying to multiple programs.

The introduction of two more veterinary colleges has raised questions about whether the United States is saturated with veterinarians and the schools that produce them.

The AVMA in April released the results of a study that found the available supply of veterinary services in 2012 exceeded demand by the equivalent of about 11,250 full-time veterinarians. More than half of the veterinarians surveyed were working at less than full capacity.

Deborah Kochevar, AAVMC’s president and dean of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, said at the time that the study documented "some fundamental problems.” Kochevar stated, however, that market forces "are the ultimate determinants of capacity and demand in an economic system.”

The American Animal Hospital Association was troubled by the report, which counted a veterinarian workforce of 90,200 in 2012.

"Those in veterinary medicine need to stop and take a hard look at the causes of the current situation and reassess whether an increasing number of veterinarians in a market where supply far outpaces demand is in the best interests of students, the public and our profession,” said Michael Cavanaugh, AAHA’s executive director and CEO.


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