Veterinarians and Student Loan Debt: Is the Burden Too Much?

United States student loan debt has escalated over the last decade and created public debate over the driving factors as well as the economic and social consequences. Despite repeated warnings about the effects of an uncontrolled student loan market, the available statistics showing all dimensions of the problem, and extensive literature on the causes of the increasing educational debt, the problem remains real in the United States. This paper uses 2016 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Census of Veterinarians data along with a survival model to determine the ability of veterinarians to service their educational debt and the effect of debt on wellness. While it may not be easy for them, it appears that most veterinarians have enough income to pay off their student debt. Veterinarians with student debt are more likely to own or co-own a private practice than those with no debt, which might be due to the need to finance purchase of the practice. The burden of carrying such debt has significant effects on veterinarians’ wellness: burnout and secondary traumatic stress scores increase with the level of debt.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
I26; J01; Q10

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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