Source: Axios Seattle 

Washington faces a Veterinary workforce shortage exacerbated by the pandemic pet adoption boom, leading to provider burnout and a heightened demand for services. The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association requested $5 million from legislators to fund 20 additional spots for in-state students at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, though the proposal was not approved this year and will be revisited next year. The Pacific Northwest, with 16% of the U.S. population, has only 13.5% of the nation’s vets.

Many veterinarians left the field during the pandemic due to the inability to connect with clients in person. Despite an 8.4% increase in Veterinary establishments since 2012, the number of pet-owning households has also risen, with 86 million dogs and 66 million cats in the U.S. as of 2022. Veterinary schools are expanding, including a new school in Utah, which will free up more spots at WSU’s vet school. Notably, 64% of veterinarians are women.

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