Our Tradition of Excellence
The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine is a leader in veterinary medical education. Although the College stays on the cutting edge of technology and research, it is encumbered by a lack of the space required to train new veterinarians to serve a growing population that demands high-quality livestock and companion animal care.
UGA is dedicated to producing the best veterinarians in the country — professionals trained to meet future challenges such as aging human and pet populations, emerging infectious diseases, humane food animal production, and issues regarding the environment and food safety.
U.S. population growth has substantially outpaced the supply of new veterinarians, yet only one new veterinary college has opened in the last 30 years. Nationally, there are 3,509 people per DVM, with 9.7% growth in population since 2000. In Georgia, there are 4,174 people per DVM, with an 18.3% increase in population since 2000.
With our state’s population growth exceeding the national average, the shortage of veterinarians in Georgia will only magnify. Our applicant pool is increasing annually, with a 15% increase from 2007 to 2008. We deny 4 applicants for every one admitted. Clearly there is a need to increase our enrollment, but our facilities cannot sustain such an expansion.
Current societal expectations for animal care far surpass those of the 1970s, when the current veterinary hospital at UGA was designed. Anyone visiting the Teaching Hospital where faculty, students and staff are elbow-to-elbow can attest to the space deficit.
Since the current Teaching Hospital opened in 1979, our annual caseload has grown 37% and the full-time staff has increased 339% — but the hospital square footage has grown only 4%. We have 1,700 fewer square feet per student than our peer institutions (see chart, left).
The solution to these problems is clear: we need a new, larger hospital to provide improved care for clients and their animals, and enhance the quality of education for present and future veterinary students.
The plans for the new hospital include a larger facility with approximately 140,000 square feet of hospital space (nearly three times larger than the current hospital), flexibility for existing needs and future expansion, green space for animals, and easily-accessible parking areas.
Classrooms and support spaces for third- and fourth-year students will be included. Clinical faculty, interns, residents, and technical staff also will relocate to the new facility. The new hospital will be located off of College Station Road, just 2.7 miles from the existing veterinary medicine campus.
The new facility will allow us to increase enrollment from 102 to 150 students, address problems of faculty and staff retention and recruitment, facilitate patient care and expand existing specialties, and develop new programs to keep up with medical advances.
Through the support of our clients, alumni and friends, we hope to raise $32.7 million in private support for this project that is so urgently needed.
If you are interested in donating to the campaign for a new Veterinary Medical Center, please click on the "Donate Now" button to make a secure online tax-deductible contribution.
This page was last reviewed on January 20, 2015.