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LMU students stayed close after graduation

In need of practitioners, the Appalachian region is benefiting from Lincoln Memorial’s young veterinary program.

LMU students stayed close after graduation

Lincoln Memorial University has gotten off to a good start in its quest to improve access to veterinary care across the Appalachian region.

The College of Veterinary Medicine reported that 27 percent of the 87-member Class of 2018 are living and working in Appalachia months after graduation. Appalachia students comprised one-fourth of the inaugural class.

“What the data from our first graduating class is showing is that students who come to LMU and gain experience at clinical sites throughout the region and through volunteer work in the community are deciding to stay,” said the college’s dean, Jason Johnson, DVM, MS, DACT. “This is great news for the rural communities in our region, and it is already proving to have a significant economic impact on the tristate area.”

The college debuted in 2014 in Harrogate, Tennessee, near the center of the 13-state region. A 2015 study conducted by the university’s Center for Animal Health in Appalachia found that the region could support nearly 2,000 more veterinarians.

“Educating future veterinarians to serve the needs of rural communities in the United States, especially in the Appalachian region, was part of the vision when developing the College of Veterinary Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University,” said Randall Evans, DVM, associate dean of career services and professional development. “It is rewarding to see so many of our first graduates returning to the area to serve in rural communities here in Appalachia.”

Among other findings in the survey of 2018 graduates:

  • They now live in 24 states.
  • 33 percent practice in Tennessee, Kentucky or Virginia, portions of which are in Appalachia.
  • 34 percent are large animal or mixed-animal practitioners.
  • Class members collectively completed 957 rotations in 36 states during their final clinical year.

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