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Veterinarian Shortage Continues, No Relief in Sight

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 10:17 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -: If you are a Pet Parent in Aroostook County, you may have noticed a delay of services, or a waitlist for new patients.

Dr. James Hotham “Well, there’s just not enough veterinarians to meet the demand of today’s pet population.”

Dr. James Hotham is the Owner of Hotham’s Veterinary Services. He says that there’s a few reasons for the veterinarian shortage in the county, state, and across the nation.

Dr. Hotham” So it’s a different day and age, people. You know, it’s the Me, myself and I generation, and a lot of new graduates, they want to work three days a week, they want full time pay… And many of the veterinarians graduating today are women, and they get out of veterinary school, they’re in their late 20s, early 30s. And then they decide, well, I need to have a family. So then they’re, you know, they’re not working full time, they’re working part time. So it just makes for, you know, a shortage all around.”

Dr. Hotham adds that if you just moved, got a new pet, or for any other reason are not established with a vet, plan to wait a while for an appointment.

Dr. Hotham” I think it’s going to iron itself out, everything usually does. But, you know, here in the county, people from a way don’t usually move to the county… And, you know, I need to encourage young folks that, you know, are skilled or, you know, gifted in math and science, you know, that veterinary medicine is, is, you know, a decent career.”

If you are not established with a vet, and your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, Dr. Hotham says you can reach out to vets in your area, but they will not always be able to accommodate you.

Dr. Hotham” we, I mean, we do our best we try not to turn, you know, people away that need need help. But, again, there’s only so many hours a day, and we try to leave spots available for you know, our clients, you never know what’s going to be unexpected.”

Dr. Hotham reminds people to be kind to one another.  He adds area vets are working hard to give your pets the quality of care they deserve. He hopes the future brings more vets to the county to help fill this shortage.

Corey Bouchard, Newssource 8

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