The Marley Foundation Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program (DVM Program) is a four-year education designed to directly address the veterinary needs of Arizona identified by our stakeholders, including veterinarian shortages in rural communities and tribal nations; improving animal and public health; providing border security needs; and making Arizona more attractive to animal production, retail, biomedical and bioscience companies.
Here are some key points about the planned UA DVM Program:
- Arizona needs more veterinarians. The need is particularly acute for communities outside Maricopa County, especially for large-animal and mixed-animal practices. The tribal nations also for years have needed veterinarians and are working with the UA to address this concern. UA created a veterinary school Pathways Program to attract candidates who might fulfill these needs.
- Graduates of the DVM Program will be more likely to remain in Arizona. Likewise, most state dollars for veterinary student support, an estimated $1.5 million each year, also would stay in Arizona. Other states’ Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) dollars will flow to us when their students enter years 2-4 of the UA School of Veterinary Medicine. Currently, Arizona students must compete for veterinary school admissions as out-of-state, non-resident students. For example, 1,600 applicants compete for 138 seats at Colorado State University. Only 55 of these seats are open to non-Colorado applicants, and just a handful of these are filled by Arizonans.
- Arizona students pay higher costs through non-resident or private tuition, incur more debt and often stay, or seek employment with, the out-of-state veterinary practices and companies where they intern.
- The UA DVM Program will offer a fully accredited year-round curriculum that will allow students to graduate and enter the workforce more quickly and at less cost to them and the state. However, our graduates will actually spend more time in DVM education than students at any other program. The entire four years will have 11 semester-equivalents compared to 8 semesters in other programs nationwide.
- To graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, students must take the pre-professional year, be selected to enter the School of Veterinary Medicine and successfully pass the professional curriculum delivered over the next three years.
- Approximately 95% of the teaching and clinical experiences will be at on-campus UA facilities throughout Arizona. Most of the professional program's Years 2 and 3 will take place at the Veterinary Clinical Skills Training Facility in Oro Valley and the anatomy facility at the Agricultural Research Center at UA's Campus Agricultural Center.
- The Year 4 business plan calls for public-private partnerships with a UA-owned rural, mixed animal teaching hospital in Douglas and Al Marah Ranch, an equine veterinary medicine and reproduction facility in Tucson. Other partnerships include the Reid Park Zoo and various animal shelter and rescue organizations. UA also has clinical rotation agreements with off-campus Tucson specialty veterinary practices to provide emergency medicine, surgery and specialty companion and exotic animal experiences for final-year students. By working with existing veterinary practices, UA avoids competing with private or corporate owned practices.
- Other clinical training partners will include federal and state domestic animal, wildlife and public health organizations, the Department of Corrections’ wild horse program, U.S. Border Patrol import/export facilities, Homeland Security and ALIRT emergency surveillance and response, and other off-campus veterinary practices.
- The UA DVM Program will graduate more Arizona veterinarians resulting in improved animal health and public health.
- Graduate students will receive a Master of Science in Animal and Biomedical Industries if they have a 3.0 or greater GPA in the required pre-professional year (30 credits, 2 semesters, non-thesis program).
- Bioscience companies need veterinarians to manage their animal health and welfare programs and will be attracted to relocate or expand their businesses in Arizona due to the new cadre of well-educated DVMs and graduates who also hold a M.S. in Animal and Biomedical Industries from UA.