Farmscape for December 16, 2022
A new initiative being developed by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine will help address the shortage of swine veterinarians across Canada.
In response to the shortage of veterinarians across Canada, particularly in swine, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine is launching a new swine medicine advancement, recruitment and training, or SMART program.
Dr. John Harding, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, explains recruiting new graduates into the industry has been challenge.
Clip-Dr. John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
The overall mission of the SMART program is to develop programs that support the recruitment, retention and advanced training of swine veterinarians in Canada.
There are four pillars of the smart program.
The first is the Pharmhouse Summer Student Experience Program and the second is linked to that which is clinical competency training and verification to make that those new graduates do have the tools they need from a technical and knowledge standpoint to do their job in the industry.
The third pillar is the foreign-trained veterinarian swine residency certification program and then linked to that is a pillar which we're going to call the swine veterinarian advanced education program.
That's really designed to help early career veterinarians increase their tool box to be more effective on farm.
In terms of the foreign-trained veterinary program, it's progressing quite well.
It's a much bigger program and we anticipate that it will be substantially completed by early to mid-2023.
The SMART trust fund, which is what we're using to fund the initiative should be set up and ready to go by early 2023.
Depending on the interest the, first cohort of students, foreign-trained residents could begin in 2023 or maybe delayed until 2024 depending on the number of qualified applicants that we receive.
Dr. Harding says the SMART program will increase the number of swine vets and increase the knowledge level and practical skills of the vets we have which will reflect in improved animal health for the Canadian swine industry.
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