Where Are the Veterinarian Shortage Areas Anyway?

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2010-09-01
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O'Connor, Annette
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Hennessy, David
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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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.

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