Canadian Veterinary Colleges
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
Western Canada’s regional veterinary college at the University of Saskatchewan
More than 450 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at the internationally-recognized veterinary college that includes a veterinary medical centre, a provincial diagnostic laboratory and large-scale research facilities. The WCVM is part of the University of Saskatchewan campus, located along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Each year, up to 78 students begin the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. Based on an interprovincial agreement with Canada’s four western provinces, WCVM accepts an allotted number of applicants from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The college also considers applicants from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
In 1963, Canada’s four western provinces agreed to establish a regional veterinary college at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1969, the first class graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and the new building was officially dedicated.
The college’s regional responsibilities for providing veterinary education, expertise and research are officially recognized in the WCVM Interprovincial Agreement — a unique document that is updated and renewed by the western provinces and WCVM every five years. The longstanding agreement spells out the terms with respect to provincial enrolment quotas, residency status of applicants to the college and the cost-sharing formula for funding the regional college at the U of S.
In turn, this agreement outlines the college’s commitments in seven key areas.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program
The college’s DVM program provides future veterinarians with a contemporary, relevant education that enables them to meet the changing needs of society. Nearly 80 faculty — including specialists in a range of different clinical disciplines — deliver the four-year program that’s designed to prepare students for vital careers in private practice, public service, research, academia and industry.
WCVM’s graduate training includes master’s and PhD degree programs, as well as internships and residencies in a range of clinical disciplines. WCVM’s graduate student population is at an all-time high with more than 150 graduate students working in a range of areas through the college.
Research in biomedical and veterinary sciences
The veterinary college annually attracts more than $10 million in public and private research funding. In return, WCVM researchers are making internationally significant discoveries in a range of areas including basic and applied sciences, clinical sciences, comparative medicine, food safety, toxicology, public health and environmental health.
Public extension education
Each year, WCVM faculty members present some of the latest information and research discoveries at conferences organized by livestock or breed associations, sport organizations or wildlife groups. When important health issues arise in the region, the college plays a key role in organizing information meetings or distributing fact sheets that provide science-based answers to the public’s questions and concerns.
Clinical and diagnostic services and consultations
The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre is a highly advanced medical facility where undergraduate and graduate students can develop their clinical and diagnostic skills. The teaching hospital serves as Western Canada’s premier referral centre with the latest in advanced diagnostic and treatment options for animal health care.
Continuing education for veterinarians
The WCVM helps to organizing continuing education courses and seminars for veterinary organizations. In addition, faculty members regularly share their research findings at veterinary conferences and by publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
Training support for veterinary technology students
Each year, the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre becomes the clinical training ground for students enrolled in the veterinary technology program at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatoon, Sask.