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University of Saskatchewan Program Helps Address Shortage of Swine Vets

A program offered by the University of Saskatchewan is helping address the shortage of swine veterinarians in western Canada by providing a mechanism through which foreign trained veterinarians can be licenced.The Foreign-Trained Veterinary Swine Medicine Residency Certification program targets internationally trained veterinarians who are working in non-veterinary roles in the Canadian swine industry.

Dr. John Harding, a professor of swine medicine with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says the foreign-trained swine residency program is one of four pillars of the swine medicine advancement, recruitment and training or SMART program and was created to help fulfil the need for swine vets.

Quote-Dr. John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:

We know there are many internationally trained veterinarians presently working in the Canadian swine industry and many would just love to work as swine veterinarians if given that opportunity.However, to practice veterinary medicine in Canada you need to be licenced and obtaining a licence to practice is really challenging due to different educational standards at institutions around the world.

The current pathway to obtain a licence to practice vet medicine in Canada is really targeted toward general practitioners, so mixed animal or small animal practitioners and a lot of it is really small animal based and it requires the successful completion of four exams that are administered by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association's national examining board.Those are tough exams and they're expensive as well.

The objectives of the Foreign-Trained Swine Medicine Residency Certification program, is really to use an alternative pathway to licensure and that's linked to what we call specialty board examination.In this case it will be in swine health management.Therefor this program is designed to retool internationally trained veterinarians as swine veterinary specialists in swine health management who will then become eligible for veterinary licensure.We're targeting the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba initially.

For information on the Foreign-Trained Veterinarian Swine Medicine Residency Certification program contact the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

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