This is a scary scary document. It is the veterinary section of the 2005 California Health Sciences Workforce Study.
Highlights, you ask?
-calls for increasing enrollment from 122 to 160 a year at UCDavis, even though Western is producing 85 grads a year
-infers a need for more grads, over half of which are female, from the prediction that many female vets work fewer hours to accomodate family demands
-bemoans the undersupply of veterinarians in the state, as judged by the fact that California is one of almost half of all states that are below the national average vet to population ratio and in fact, horror of horrors! half of all California counties are at or below the average for the state.
Think about that for a minute. Just let it sink in. OK, got it? Moving on....
Here's the scary part. Remember this study was published in 2007- almost a decade ago.
The study calls for more vets while stating clients won't pay what vets will need to charge:
"Veterinary health care for the most part is financed by animal owners. Limited pet insurance is available, but
it has not been embraced widely by animal owners due to its relatively high costs. As clients pay for services
“out-of-pocket,” veterinarians must adjust their prices to fit what the market will bear in their communities.
In most instances, veterinarians work with owners to review estimated costs of veterinary care at the time
services are delivered and may work out a payment plan if necessary. They must also consider when clients
cannot pay the cost of saving their animal, even though the health issue may be treatable and would restore
the animal back to a normal, healthy condition. As medical services become more sophisticated, the demand
for more sophisticated services at low prices is increasing. Given the high cost of providing such services,
meeting this demand to lower prices is unrealistic for most veterinarians."
From the land of the unfunded mandate, where perception is reality. We're all perceiving that reality now, eh?