Where Are the Veterinarian Shortage Areas Anyway?

Tong Wang, David A. Hennessy, Annette M. O’Connor
September 2010  [10-WP 513]

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Wang, T., D.A. Hennessy, and A. O’Connor. 2010. "Where Are the Veterinarian Shortage Areas Anyway?" Working paper 10-WP 513. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


This paper describes an econometric model to evaluate factors associated with a county’s likelihood of being designated as a private practice shortage area under the United States’ Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP). Study determinants of equilibrium food animal veterinarian location choices were also evaluated and used as a benchmark to assess the shortage designation process. On the whole the program appears to perform quite well. For several states, however, VMLRP shortage designations are inconsistent with the model of food animal veterinarian shortages. Comparative shortage is generally more severe in states that have no VMLRP designated private practice shortage counties than in states that do.

Keywords: economic externalities, food animal veterinarians, loan repayment program.