A survey of beef producers and veterinarians finds different points of view about whether there is a shortage of food animal medicine practitioners, but observers suggest numerous factors influence trends in this workforce. Many new veterinarians are deterred from rural food animal medicine due to tighter budgets on farms, fewer large animals in rural areas and the consolidation of the food animal industry. Additionally, overall trends in the job market play a role. An AVMA survey released in 2012 noted that graduating veterinarians had fewer job offers and higher graduate school debt and were offered lower starting salaries compared with previous years.
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