Serving the Needs of Texas

FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, THE TEXAS A&M COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE & BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES HAS SERVED OUR STATE, OUR NATION, AND THE WORLD.

There is no need for another state-supported veterinary school:

  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) concluded in 2009 and again in 2016 that there is no need for an additional veterinary school in Texas, only the need to expand the existing one.
  • Texas A&M can meet the need for veterinary graduates in Texas now and into the future.
  • Texas A&M has increased the number of veterinary students by 23 percent since 2016, with 30 additional students per class, reaching 162 veterinary students per class.
  • Texas A&M now has the largest veterinary school in the U.S. and has strategically invested in the necessary facilities for additional students, as needed to meet the needs of Texas. These investments by Texas A&M make additional class size expansion possible, subject to required approval by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE), the veterinary accrediting body.
  • Texas A&M graduates the highest number and percent of rural and mixed animal veterinarians in the nation, already, with 25 percent (34/134) of the 2017 graduating class and 40 percent (51/128) of the 2018 graduating class.
  • The highest quality of veterinary education is uniquely offered by Texas A&M at the most affordable cost. Texas A&M boasts one of the lowest DVM education costs in the nation. More than $1.8 million in DVM student scholarships are offered each year.

LEADING THE WAY IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE

A new curriculum has been recently designed and implemented to recruit and train students who have a passion for serving in small, rural communities:

  • The new and innovative curriculum is already producing results. Through the West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) pipeline program, 19 Texas Panhandle-area students have recently entered veterinary school and are likely to return to the Texas Panhandle to practice. This exceeds to number of posted job opportunities.
  • WTAMU is now the largest producer of veterinary students in Texas, apart from Texas A&M.
  • The Texas A&M Food Animal DVM Track is already producing results and transforming veterinary education, producing more rural veterinarians through the WTAMU pipeline.

What is best for Texas?

  • What is best for Texas is a veterinary education of the highest quality at the most affordable cost. Texas A&M is accomplishing that.
  • Texas A&M veterinary students gain handson experience working alongside practicing veterinarians during their formal externships, as well as during informal summer experiences.
  • Texas A&M students also benefit from the rich educational experience in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH), where they work alongside nationally and internationally renowned veterinarians in providing the most modern patient care with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • As students help advance knowledge and innovation, they gain experiences that help them more clearly understand the importance of providing high standards of care and excellence in service to their patients.
  • A distributed model has no teaching hospital, denying students this enriched experience. A distributive model has two major challenges:
    • Accreditation – it is more difficult to meet all of the required COE standards
    • Affordability – distributive models rank among the highest in student costs and debt load

“No new college of veterinary medicine is recommended at this time.”
~ THECB 2009 + 2016 reports


SERVING THE TEXAS PANHANDLE

It is unlikely that building another veterinary school in Texas would increase the number of rural veterinarians in the Texas Panhandle region; 100 years of educational excellence is difficult to match.

  • Texas A&M greatly values and supports rural communities in the need for quality veterinary medical support. It has programs in place to meet the need.
  • Rural veterinary medicine is a complex issue requiring coordinated contributions by many, including Texas A&M University, the Texas veterinary profession, the livestock industries, and local communities. Legislative support of the Texas Rural Veterinary Incentive Program and the federal Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Plan is crucial to these efforts.
  • Graduating more DVM students, alone, will not guarantee more rural veterinarians, despite Texas’ needs. Texas A&M is actively recruiting and mentoring students from rural areas who are interested in returning to rural communities to practice veterinary medicine after they graduate.
  • In 2016, Texas A&M and West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) began a targeted, innovative pipeline program that already has doubled the number of Texas Panhandle-area students entering veterinary school. This number is expected to increase even more.


THE ROLE OF THE VETERINARY MEDICAL TEACHING HOSPITAL

The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) provides student opportunities in education, research, and innovation, complemented by hands-on learning with the latest advancements in veterinary care.

  • Clinical and research faculty—some of the best in the world—include students in the work they do to advance veterinary care.
  • DVM students gain clinical skills with an optimal progression through basic, hands-on clinical simulations; intensive, highly technological educational models; and participation in patient care at the VMTH.
  • The curriculum is designed to ensure practiceready veterinarians at the time of graduation.


TEXAS A&M AND THE TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SYSTEM INVEST SUBSTANTIALLY IN VETERINARY EDUCATION

  • Artist’s rendering of the VERO facility

    In 2016, the Texas A&M University System invested $120 million for a new, state-of-the-art Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex (VBEC) to accommodate the needs of Texas for many years to come, as well as to support the best, most modern veterinary education in the nation.

  • In December 2018, the Texas A&M University System broke ground on the new, $22-million, 22,000-squarefoot Veterinary Education, Research & Outreach (VERO) facility at WTAMU.
  • To date, approximately $90 million has been invested in the Texas Panhandle on the WTAMU campus to support veterinary education, the livestock industries, the veterinary profession, local communities, and the economic well-being of the region.
  • The partnerships between the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and Texas A&M University System universities have been described as the most innovative veterinary educational initiative.

“The VERO facility will be the most cost-effective and innovative game-changer in support of rural veterinary medicine
in the Texas Panhandle. The exchange of knowledge on the information superhighway between WTAMU and Texas A&M
for the benefit of Texas and the livestock industry will accelerate.”
~ Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University


» Download a PDF of the Serving the Needs of Texas brochure (Jan. 2019)