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A Better Solution

I enjoyed Mark Cushing’s article “4 Threats to Sustained Growth” [June/July 2021]. His No. 3 threat was “no midlevel professionals.”

Although the notion of adding a category of veterinary caregiver equivalent to the nurse practitioner in human medicine seems interesting, the elephant in the room wasn’t addressed but is related to the first two threats: the shortages of veterinarians and CVTs. If we don’t have sufficient interest from young people to pursue careers as DVMs or CVTs, where will we find a sufficient pool of individuals interested in an intermediate-level career?

Solving the shortages would make the creation of intermediate-level positions unnecessary. Wouldn’t it make more sense to devote efforts to curing the shortages than create a position and deal with the practical and logistical issues that come with recruiting, training and licensing?

Likely, as Mr. Cushing suggests, some veterinarians see veterinary nurses as a potential threat to their livelihoods. I am not among them. It will be interesting to see what transpires over the next decade as our profession deals with these threats.

Dr. John S. Parker is the owner of Briarpointe Veterinary Clinic.