The number of veterinarians in the United States is inadequate to meet societal needs in biomedical research and public health. Areas of greatest need include translational medical research, veterinary pathology, laboratory-animal medicine, emerging infectious diseases, public health, academic medicine, and production-animal medicine. Veterinarians have unique skill sets that enable them to serve as leaders or members of interdisciplinary research teams involved in basic science and biomedical research with applications to animal or human health. There are too few graduate veterinarians to serve broad national needs in private practice; academia; local, state, and federal government agencies; and private industry. There are no easy solutions to the problem of increasing the number of veterinarians in biomedical research. Progress will require creativity, modification of priorities, broad-based communication, support from faculty and professional organizations, effective mentoring, education in research and alternative careers as part of the veterinary professional curriculum, and recognition of the value of research experience among professional schools’ admissions committees. New resources should be identified to improve communication and education, professional and graduate student programs in biomedical research, and support to junior faculty. These actions are necessary for the profession to sustain its viability as an integral part of biomedical research.
Keywords: biomedical research, veterinarian, laboratory animal, pathology, public health