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Veterinary Shortage Situations

NIFA releases Veterinarian Shortage Situations every fiscal year. This page provides information to the federal notice for nominating a veterinarian shortage situation and resources for preparing and submitting the form. 

Guidance Specifying Veterinarian Shortage Situations Eligible for Nomination

The National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA, as amended) does not identify any areas of veterinary practice as ineligible. However, it does specify that priority should be given to food animal medicine shortage situations, and consideration should be given to specialty areas such as public health, epidemiology, and food safety. Accordingly, all nominated veterinary shortage situations will be considered eligible for submission, however competitiveness of nominations will reflect Congressional intent. NIFA anticipates that the most competitive nominations will be those directly addressing food supply veterinary medicine shortage situations.

Veterinary Shortage Situation Federal Register Notice

On an annual or as needed basis, NIFA releases a Federal Register Notice soliciting nominations for veterinary shortage situations from all State Animal Health Officials (SAHOs; includes chief animal health officials for US insular areas and D.C.) and appropriate Federal Animal Health Official(s) for federal lands allocations. Please be sure to search and review the current "Solicitation of Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations for the VMLRP" on the Federal Register Notice carefully before nominating an area. 

Type of Shortage Situations

Only one shortage type can be designated per nomination. Shortage types are classified based on percent Full Time Equivalent (FTE) and practice type. The FTE is the number of working hours that represents one full- time (100% FTE) employee during a fixed time, this equates to a 40-hour work week.

Type I - At least 80% FTE Private Practice Food Supply Veterinary Medicine:

A Type I shortage area may be classified as rural, urban, or other type, if the veterinary service shortage to be mitigated is consistent with the definition of "practice of food supply veterinary medicine". A minimum of an 80% FTE (32 hours per week) commitment, in part, recognizes the fact that occasionally food animal veterinary practitioners are expected to meet the needs of other veterinary service sectors. These nominations are intended for shortage situations where the submitting official believes the veterinarian can operate profitably by committing 80-100% time to food animal medicine activities based on the client base and other socio-economic factors impacting viability of veterinary practices in the area.

Type II - At least 30% FTE Private Practice Food Supply Veterinary Medicine in a Rural Area:

A Type II shortage area must satisfy the definition of a "rural area". A minimum of a 30% FTE commitment (12 hours per week) in a rural shortage situation recognizes that some remote or economically depressed rural areas need food animal veterinary services, but they may be unable to support a practitioner predominantly serving the food animal sector, yet the need is still great. These nominations are intended for shortage situations where the submitting official believes the veterinarian can operate profitably committing at least 30% time to food animal medicine activities based on the client base and other socio-economic factors impacting viability of veterinary practices in the area.

Type III - At least 49% FTE Public Practice:

This is a broad nomination category comprised of many types of public service veterinary training and employment areas relating to food supply and public health veterinary workforce capacity and capability. These positions are typically located in city, county, State or Federal governments and institutions of higher education. Examples are university faculty, staff, or resident; veterinary laboratory diagnostician; State Veterinarian or Epidemiologist; County Public Health Official; USDA meat inspector or Area Veterinarian in Charge; and Federal Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO). A minimum of a 49% FTE (19.6 hours per week) commitment recognizes that some public service employment opportunities are part-time.

Resources for Preparing & Submitting Nominations

For further information, contact: VMLRP .

 

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