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USU’s new veterinary program, UofU Med School compete for funding

December 12th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

By Courtney Rhodes

LOGAN—The next Utah legislative session may fire up the usual in-state rivalry between Utah State and the University of Utah, as they fight with each other over state funding for next year.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that University of Utah trustees have discussed the possibility of getting lawmakers to pair the U’s medical school funding request with a bill to fund USU’s new veterinary school, which the state Board of Regents approved last week. This could put the UofU in direct competition with USU for state dollars.

See related story on Regents’ approval of USU Vet School

Nationwide, there are only 60,000 working veterinarians. With demand for vets expected to rise by 33 percent, according to the Labor Department reports, many veterinary and animal science students at USU would need to look elsewhere for a future in their degrees if state funding is not forthcoming.

The new USU veterinary program will require students to complete two years in Logan, and then complete their clinical training at Washington State University’s vet school. This partnership is designed to help the USU veterinary program started while using the WSU program as a resource. It’s also a way to phase into the funding required for a full four-year program at Logan.

The program will accept 30 students each year. Veterinarians must graduate with a doctorate from an accredited four-year program, of which there are only 28 in the United States.

If funding is approved, USU’s new vet program will begin enrolling students in 2012.

Meanwhile, the U’s medical school also seeks state funding. Only three states have fewer physicians per capita than Utah, but a doctor shortage is possible as Americans age, with people older than 65 expected to double, according to the UofU’s health sciences department.


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