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Shortage Region UT244

State/Territory
Utah
Shortage Location - Must Serve
Duchesne County, UT and Uintah County, UT
Shortage Location - May Serve
Daggett County, UT
Location Center
255 S State St, Roosevelt, UT 84066
VSGP Status
Open
VMLRP Status
(Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program)
Open
Priority of shortage
High
Fiscal year
Percent FTE
(Full Time Equivalent, based on a 40hr work week.)
30
Type of Shortage
(Veterinary Practice Area / Discipline / Specialty)
Type II Shortage: Private Practice – Rural Area Food Animal Medicine
Must serve
Beef Cattle
Other Must Serve
May serve
Dairy Cattle
Swine
Poultry
Small Ruminant
Other May Serve
Equine
Employer
Position Title
Other disciplinary area
Carry Over
Nominator Name
Amanda Price
Nominator Title
Assistant State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
Nominator Email
Nominator Phone
801-386-4189
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian
Uintah and Duchesne Counties are rural counties with large livestock populations, and cover nearly 8,000 square miles. The two counties have more than 90,000 cattle, 12,000 sheep and goats, 9,000 chickens and turkeys, 1,000 pigs, and almost 6,000 horses, as well as one of the largest livestock auctions in the state. These two counties usually have the highest number of cases in vesicular stomatitis outbreaks. There is also a pocket of feral horses with equine infectious anemia near the Ute Tribe reservation. The veterinarians in this area cannot keep up with growing demands from unserviced clientele, and producers report waiting weeks for routine veterinary services including state-mandated brucellosis vaccination and trichomoniasis testing. Because these counties are so rural, it is critical that a veterinarian servicing these areas be located within the two counties. A veterinarian filling this shortage situation would likely supplement an existing mixed-animal veterinary practice in either Roosevelt or Vernal to serve the needs of these two counties. At least three of the veterinarians performing large animal work in these counties are near or past retirement age.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
The practitioner filling this shortage situation would serve as a professional resource to the community regarding zoonotic and endemic diseases, including Equine Infectious Anemia, West Nile Virus, plague, rabies, and hydatid disease. This veterinarian would also address the companion animal needs of the ranching and farming communities, along with those needs of the small, rural municipalities in these counties in reference to their public health, rabies and pet overpopulation mandates. Predominant work would be cow/calf and dairy work such as vaccination programs, nutritional consulting, pregnancy exams, trichomoniasis testing, certificates of veterinary inspection, and surgery. He/she would also perform routine brucellosis vaccinations, brucellosis and tuberculosis testing, and promote animal disease traceability efforts by applying official identification to eligible livestock. The livestock auction in this area also requires a veterinarian to be present on a weekly basis.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
Local veterinarians have for many years tried to attract associates into their practices. Open positions have been advertised in job posting sections of national associations such as AABP and the Utah Veterinary Medical Association. The economies of Uintah and Duchesne Counties are largely based on farming and ranching. While there are younger veterinarians moving to the area in recent years, there is still a need for more mixed animal veterinarians to replace those who are retiring, especially with the recent FDA change to require prescriptions for all animal antibiotics.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
If a veterinarian is not secured or retained in Duchesne and Uintah counties, it will be more difficult for producers to establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship and obtain needed pharmaceuticals. Veterinarians can provide consultation, education, and promotion of herd health programs and treatment protocols, reducing risks to animal and human health from zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial residues. Accredited veterinarians are crucial for implementing regulatory programs in Utah, including trichomoniasis testing of bulls, ensuring compliance with interstate movement requirements, and surveillance for regulatory and foreign animal diseases. The large beef cattle population in these counties makes this a high priority for a shortage situation.
Community Aspects
Duchesne and Uintah Counties make up the Uinta Basin, an area rich in resources and recreational opportunities. The Uinta mountain range has hiking, fishing, and off-roading opportunities. Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area and Dinosaur National Monument are both found in this area.

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