The DVM program is accredited by the AVMA-CVMA (American and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations) Council on Education and is based on an integrated core-elective model. The core program provides a comprehensive general veterinary education covering all the major domestic species, including food producing animals, equine and companion animals, and the major exotic animal species. The core program also includes public and ecosystem health, wildlife and conservation medicine, professional and communication skills, research skills and comparative medicine. The core program prepares students for general veterinary practice, with an emphasis on skills for successful practice in rural communities and provides a foundation to pursue all careers in veterinary medicine. The elective programs cover all areas of general veterinary practice and provide enhanced opportunities in four Areas of Emphasis:
Production animal health: population and individual animal health of all food and other production animal species; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of the livestock industry and rural Alberta.
Ecosystem and public health: animal and public health at the interface of domestic animals, wildlife, humans and the environment; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of society through public and private practice in areas related to public health, food safety, environmental and agricultural interfaces, wildlife/conservation/zoo medicine and health.
Equine health: population and individual care of horses; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of the horse industry, horse owners, and rural Alberta.
Investigative Medicine: comparative medicine and biomedical research; encouraging students to pursue careers advancing animal and human health through research (basic, clinical, applied, or population health).
The DVM program is delivered over four calendar years and includes nine semesters of instruction. The first three years are two semesters in length and follow the University academic calendar. They include on-campus and off-campus learning experiences. A number of extracurricular learning activities are also available. The fourth (practicum) year is the equivalent of three semesters - 40 weeks of practicum rotation experiences, plus two additional weeks for assessment, delivered over a full calendar year. Through our Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC) students will gain valuable hands-on clinical, diagnostic and professional experience in the fourth year of the program. The DVLC is comprised of private and public practices, non-government organizations, federal and provincial agencies and other animal industry partners who work with UCVM faculty to provide an exciting collaborative environment and outstanding learning opportunities for our DVM students.
The DVM curriculum provides a balance of opportunities for students to learn comparative medicine and discipline-based knowledge, to acquire and practice clinical and professional skills, and to develop diagnostic reasoning ability during the first three years. Early exposure to clinical material at the individual animal and population levels is provided in the Clinical Presentations courses, which integrate basic, preclinical, clinical and population health material.
Clinical skills courses offered in each semester of the first three years enable students to have early and frequent contact with animals, where they learn and practice clinical skills necessary for the practicum year. Professional Skills courses in each of the first three years cover clinical communications, ethics, jurisprudence, business operations, informatics, and research.
Delivery of final year practicum rotations through the DVLC provides a wealth of clinical and professional experiences, preparing students for the broad range of career opportunities available within the veterinary profession. The Distributed Veterinary Teaching Hospital gives students access to a large case load that includes a significant proportion of primary care cases, in addition to more complex cases. Scheduling of the final year over 12 months provides opportunity to capture seasonality in clinical experiences.
In the fourth year, practicum rotations are organized into four different courses. All students must take a course in Laboratory Diagnostics (four weeks) and a course in General Veterinary Practice, involving clinical rotations covering the major domestic species and rural community practice (16 weeks). Students also choose one of four Areas of Emphasis programs (10 weeks) in the following areas: production animal health, equine health, ecosystem and public health, and investigative medicine. Students also follow a course of Clinical Enrichment rotation electives (10 weeks) which cover all major species and areas of veterinary medicine, including small animal, food animal, wildlife and zoo medicine, public practice, international, ecosystem health, and many other electives.