Oklahoma veterinarians have been struggling to find new jobs since the state’s fiscal crisis began last fall, and some are now struggling to get by in their new homes.
Here are some things to know to help you stay informed about Oklahoma’s capital vet shortages.
Oklahoma capital vets have been forced to lay off some of their veterinariansThe Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association says veterinarians in Oklahoma City have been laid off for the first time in at least 30 years.
The union says about 1,000 of its members were laid off last month, and that the number is expected to rise to 1,500.
The state has been struggling with budget shortfalls for years.
Mary Fallin (R) has been trying to boost state funding by reducing the number of people with licenses.
That meant cuts to veterinary assistants, the largest group of the state workers who are responsible for administering state-mandated exams and surgeries.
Some of the cuts were meant to help offset the impact of the opioid epidemic, but they also hurt vets who work on-site to treat patients, like veterinarians who treat newborns or older patients with cancer.
Veterinarians are currently being asked to apply for other jobs, like nursing, which could take some of the pressure off their work.
A survey by the union suggests that vets have started taking advantage of those opportunities.
The survey also found that about 15 percent of vets in Oklahoma say they’re looking for other work.
“The situation is not good for the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Jason Lutz, the union’s president.
“We have had to lay people off for three months.”
Veterins have been in Oklahoma for years, but now they’re worried they won’t be able to find another jobWhen the state was recovering from a recession that began in the late 1990s, there were a few places that were in need of vets: the oil fields and casinos, where workers needed to get their teeth cleaned and their blood pressure checked.
Oklahoma had the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, behind only Florida.
In 2012, the state had the fourth-highest death rate, behind Nevada and Louisiana.
So it made sense for people in the oil industry to look for a place to retire and move to.
That was when the oil boom began.
But now, after a recession, there are fewer opportunities for vets to find a job, and they’re not sure they can find another one in the state.
“I can’t say I know exactly how many people have been asked to leave Oklahoma for jobs, but it’s probably a couple of hundred people,” said veterinarian Dr. Paul Johnson.
The biggest concern is that, as the state faces the worst budget crisis since the Great Depression, there won’t necessarily be many opportunities to find other jobs in Oklahoma.
“It’s going to take a lot more of the vets to get a new job,” Johnson said.
Oklahoma’s veterinary students aren’t receiving the training they needThe Oklahoma Legislature passed a law in 2018 requiring vets to receive at least two years of training in veterinary medicine before being able to practice in the states capital.
Veterinary students who are not currently enrolled in school have been told they’ll have to apply to the state again in 2019.
The law was aimed at increasing veterinary training for vets who can’t be found elsewhere.
But Johnson said vets who are currently enrolled aren’t getting the training needed.
“There’s not a lot of new vets coming into the state,” Johnson told The Washington Times.
“And when they come in, they’re often the last ones in, and then there’s nothing they can do about it.”
The opioid crisis has impacted Oklahoma’s vets The Oklahoma Medical Association has received calls about its vets’ health problems since last fall.
It’s worried that vets who’ve had surgery or other procedures and who are already on medications for cancer and other conditions may not be able have the surgeries or procedures completed.
Veterinas are worried about the cost of the procedure, which can be up to $50,000, and about the length of time vets are left on their medication.
But the association says its vets are well-trained and that it hasn’t seen any increase in the number or frequency of patients who needed to have their procedures done.
The association has also been getting calls about people with cancer who may have a blood clot, but the association said there is no indication of any problem.
There’s no clear timeline for when vets will start receiving VA careOklahoma has an acute care facility and a general practice clinic, but vets are not receiving the VA care they need.
Oklahoma has no VA hospital and the state only provides primary care to veterans.
And vets say they have to wait to see their bills.
Johnson says that the situation is dire.
“If you don’t get your bills, you can’t get care, and you can have a lot less time for your vet to get to