University of Arizona Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program

The UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program’s plan of study will graduate qualified veterinarians more quickly and at less cost, address the veterinarian shortage in rural communities and tribal nations, benefit bioscience businesses, and promote public health.

  • Arizona needs more veterinarians. The need is particularly acute for counties and cities outside Maricopa County, especially for large-animal practices. The tribal nations also have been short of veterinarians for several years.
  • Students at 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.
  • 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 in the practices or seek employment with the out-of-state veterinary practices and companies they intern with.
  • The proposed UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program will offer a full, accredited year-round curriculum that will allow qualified students with acceptable prerequisites to graduate and enter the workforce in as few as four years after admission to the UA, reducing student debt and speeding time to graduation.
  • The UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program’s business plan will partner with private practitioners to provide clinical experience for student veterinarians. By working with existing practices and animal health agencies, the UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program will avoid competing with private practices.
  • Other clinical training partners will include federal and state animal health labs and regulators, Border Patrol and Homeland Security, animal shelter and rescue agencies. The UA already has letters of interest from some of them.
  • 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:

Noble Jackson, DVM
Associate Professor of Practice, Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Special Assistant to the Dean for Veterinary Medical & Surgical Education
(520) 626-1611

S. Peder Cuneo, DVM
Veterinarian, UA Cooperative Extension
Associate Director, University Animal Care
Specialist, Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
(520) 621-2356, ext 19