AAEP Responds to Shortage of Equine Veterinarians

Organization creates commission to help get and keep veterinarians in equine practices

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) announced the formation of the Commission on Equine Veterinary Sustainability to help address the shortage of equine veterinarians in the United States and other countries. The Commission will help create strategies that will help retain and recruit more equine veterinarians.

“The equine veterinary profession is in crisis,” said Emma Read, DVM, MVSc, DACVS, AAEP President, in an organizational statement, “In order to transform equine practice, we must tackle the pain points that keep outstanding equine physicians. Without change, future veterinary care for our nation’s horses will be greatly compromised.1

According to the press release,1 this new Commission will be made up of volunteer AAEP members who will focus on compensation, strategies for effective emergency coverage, internships, veterinary practice, and supporting the growth and development of equine veterinary students. With 50% of AAEP members operating one or two veterinary practices, the Commission will ensure that their needs are taken into account.

“Everyone in the profession has a role to play in its transformation,” continued Read, “This is one of the biggest initiatives ever undertaken by AAEP and we look forward to collaborating with equine veterinarians and those who support them in all facets of practice to change the numbers.

In the data collected by the AAEP,1 1.3% of new veterinary graduates enter directly into equine practice each year 4.5% pursue additional training in equine internships. Yet, within 6 years, 50% of all these equine vets are leaving for small animal practice or leaving the industry together.


The AAEP creates a commission to alleviate the shortage of equine veterinarians. Press release. American Association of Equine Practitioners. July 7, 2022. Accessed July 12, 2022. https://aaep.org/news/aaep-creates-commission-alleviate-equine-veterinarian-shortage

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