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Veterinary Medicine

This video from the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association shows the wide range of career options for a veterinarian or animal health technologist.

To practise veterinary medicine in Alberta you must obtain a license from the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (AB.VMA). The requirements include graduation from a professional degree program in veterinary medicine that is recognized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).

To obtain a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree, a minimum of six years of university education is required: two years of pre-veterinary study at a regular university followed by four years of courses in veterinary medicine at a Canadian veterinary college (five years in the province of Quebec). Some of the colleges are adjusting their pre-veterinary requirements and introducing some curriculum changes to reflect the changing face of the profession. Guidance counsellors at the institution of your choice should be able to advise you regarding these admission and curriculum changes. The number of students that can be accommodated in a veterinary school is quite limited. Canadian veterinary colleges currently graduate about 400 veterinarians each year.

A student who is interested in becoming a veterinarian should select courses in science at the high school level and discuss a suitable preparatory academic program with a guidance counsellor. Science courses such as biology, chemistry and physics form a foundation for further education, but optional courses in the humanities and social sciences are also recommended — as well as a strong background in mathematics. If working in a clinic upon graduation is of interest, consider taking courses in business administration, management or entrepreneurship.

A student must also plan to gain practical experience by working with several animal species. Voluntary experience and employment with a veterinarian is helpful in gaining insight into the profession, and references from these sources are part of the admission requirement. Junior and senior high school students may want to check out the vet camps offered at the University of Calgary and the Atlantic Veterinary College.

There are currently five programs in Canada.

Veterinary Schools in Canada

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Calgary

3330 Hospital Dr. NW
Calgary AB
T2N 4N1
(403) 220-6920

Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan

52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon SK
S7N 5B4
Telephone: (306) 966-7454
Fax: (306) 966-7314

Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph

Guelph ON
N1G 2W1
Telephone: (519) 824-4120 x54401

Atlantic Veterinary College
University of Prince Edward Island

550 University Avenue
Charlottetown PEI
C1A 4P3
Telephone: (902) 566-0439
Fax: (902) 566-0795

Faculté de médecine vétérinaire
Université de Montréal

Case postale 5000
Saint-Hyacinthe QC
J2S 7C6
Téléphone : (450) 773-8521, poste 8271
Télécopieur : (450) 778-8114