University of Arizona Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program

Designed to directly address the veterinary needs of Arizona identified by our stakeholders: address the veterinarian shortages in rural communities and tribal nations; improve animal and public health; provide for border security needs; and make Arizona more attractive to animal production, retail, biomedical and bioscience companies.

  • Arizona needs more veterinarians. The need is particularly acute for communities outside Maricopa County, especially for large-animal practices. The tribal nations also have been short of veterinarians for several years.
  • Graduates of the UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical 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.
  • Currently, Arizona students must compete for veterinary school admissions at out-of-state institutions, many of which privilege 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 Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program will offer a full, 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; it will have 11 semester-equivalents compared with 8 in other programs nationwide.
  • The business plan calls for partnerships with private practitioners to provide clinical experience for final-year students. By working with existing practices and animal health agencies, the UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program avoids competing with private practices and having a money-losing hospital. We have identified 56 partner veterinary hospitals and other animal care facilities.
  • Other clinical training partners will include federal and state animal health labs and regulators, the Department of Corrections, U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security, and animal shelter and rescue agencies.
  • The UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program will graduate more Arizona veterinarians, which means improved animal health and public health.
  • More Arizona veterinarians also will be an incentive for bioscience companies who depend on veterinary expertise to stay or relocate to Arizona.

For more information, contact:

Bonnie Buntain, MSc, DVM, D(E)ABVP, DACVPM
Coordinator, Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program
(520) 999-0225

Noble Jackson, DVM
Associate Professor of Practice, Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Interim Assistant Director for Distributed Education for the Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program
(520) 626-1611

S. Peder Cuneo, DVM
Veterinarian, UA Cooperative Extension
Associate Director, University Animal Care
Specialist, Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Interim Assistant Director for Clinical Education, Facilities and Curriculum for the Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program
(520) 621-2356, ext 19

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