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Hanover College helps alleviate veterinary shortage by offering a DVM program

News
Article

A hybrid, accelerated Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will welcome its first cohort in August 2026

Serhii / stock.adobe.com

Serhii / stock.adobe.com

Veterinary shortages across the United States have been a daunting problem for the profession. From Mars Veterinary Health data, it is estimated that up to 55,000 additional veterinarians will be needed to meet the needs of companion animal healthcare by 2030. In addition, even with the new veterinary graduates expected over the next 10 years, a shortage of up to 24,000 companion-animal veterinarians will likely still exist by 2030.1

However, a silver lining in this issue, is that more and more colleges and universities across the country have been adding veterinary medicine doctorate programs to their degree offerings.

  • In September 2023, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences announced construction to expand the veterinary medicine and education facilities, doubling the size of its teaching hospital.
  • Arkansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine is set to open in Fall 2025.
  • New Jersey’s first veterinary medicine program comes from the Shreiber School of Veterinary Medicine of Rowan University and construction encompasses the anticipation of welcoming its first class of 60-70 veterinary students in 2025.
  • The Clemson School of Veterinary Medicine will welcome its first class of veterinarians in the fall of 2026, becoming the first college of veterinary medicine in South Carolina.
  • Students at Utah State University spend their first 2 years at Utah State and then finish their remaining 2 years at Washington State University where their degree will be awarded. However, Utah State anticipates that students admitted for fall 2025 will attend all 4 years of their DVM program at USU.

Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana now joins this list of providing students with more options to obtain their veterinary medicine degree. According to a university release,2 Hanover College plans to launch a hybrid, accelerated Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program with its first cohort starting in August 2026. The first cohort is expected to welcome 80 students and each subsequent class will expand to 100 students per cohort by the third year. Hanover College anticipates full capacity to include a maximum total enrollment of 300 DVM students.2

The hybrid approach to veterinary education will follow guidelines set by the Higher Learning Commission and the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education.2 The program offered by Hanover College will feature a blend of online lectures and discussions, along with centralized laboratory and regional clinical experiences.

Program details

According to the release, students will complete the curriculum in 3 years.2 This is possible because the program will run year-round and is separated into 9 semesters. During the first 4 semesters, the curriculum will include animal anatomy and physiology, clinical communication, and simulation-oriented surgical and medical skills. The fifth and sixth semesters will focus on field-based clinical courses and patient care. Students will be placed into intensive clinical rotations for the last 3 semesters.2

“Many qualified candidates who want to be veterinarians have to go abroad to seek a veterinary education,” Hanover president, Lake Lambert, said in the release. “This is a tremendous loss of talent for Indiana, so our program creates a great opportunity to attract and retain more talent to Indiana.”2

Through Indiana’s statewide Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, Hanover College received a $5.9 million grant in 2022 that will go directly towards covering a total expected cost of $16.5 million for facility construction and operational needs.2 These costs encompass the construction, renovation, and furnishing of buildings on Hanover's campus, as well as the recruitment of doctoral-level faculty and their associated staff.

Hanover College is specifically hoping to bring more livestock and public-health veterinarians into the profession. Lambert added, “Indiana is an agricultural state with a growing biotech and agriscience industry. To support all of those needs, Indiana needs more trained veterinary professionals, and this program is going to make that possible.”2

From data demonstrated on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services Shortage Situations Map, Indiana is currently experiencing shortages in public practice, private practice food animal medicine, and private practice—rural area food animal medicine.3

For technicians

Hanover's DVM program is also partnered with the veterinary nursing curriculum at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana-Madison Campus. Ivy Tech Madison will offer an associate-degree-level veterinary nursing program and licensure as a registered veterinary technician (RVTs).

The Hanover-Ivy Tech partnership is 1 of only 5 like it in the US and is aimed at creating a substantial impact on education and animal healthcare in the southern Indiana region.2 This collaboration allows DVM and RVT students to share training opportunities, collaborate with teamwork skills, and experience an enriching curriculum provided by doctoral-level faculty.

References

  1. Tackling the veterinary professional shortage. Mars Veterinary Health. August 2023. Accessed January 30, 2024. https://www.marsveterinary.com/tackling-the-veterinary-professional-shortage/
  2. Hanover College pursuing innovative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. News release. Hanover College. December 2023. Accessed January 30, 2024. https://www.hanover.edu/about/news/2023/veterinary-program/
  3. Veterinary Services Shortage Situations Map. United States Department of Agriculture. Accessed January 30, 2024. https://www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-map?state=468
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