University of Guelph and Lakehead University to expand veterinary training
Thunder Bay – Business – The provincial government’s recent investment in expanding veterinary training in Ontario has been met with enthusiasm by the University of Guelph and Lakehead University. This investment includes support for a new collaborative veterinary medicine program, which will increase the number of veterinary spaces in Ontario for the first time since 1988, and provide incentives to address critical shortages in veterinary care.
The Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program in Rural and Northern Community Practice will be crucial in supporting the economic growth of Ontario’s agri-food sector by increasing the number of veterinarians trained in Ontario who are practicing within Northern, rural, and Indigenous communities. This will ensure that livestock producers have the necessary veterinary services needed to expand operations.
The Veterinary Incentive Program will provide loan assistance to recently graduated veterinarians to practice in under-serviced areas and support large animal care. The government’s support has been praised by Dr. Charlotte Yates, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph, who expressed gratitude for the government’s backing of the new and innovative approach to training veterinarians.
Lakehead University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Moira McPherson, also thanked the government for its generous support of the initiative.
“On behalf of Lakehead University and our partners in Northern Ontario, I want to thank the Government of Ontario for seeing the vision and investing in the Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program in Rural and Northern Community Practice,” Dr. McPherson said. “Working with our partners in government and the agri-food industry, we will be able to provide much-needed additional veterinary care to the vital and growing agri-food sector in Northern, rural, and Indigenous communities across Ontario.”
The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), ranked first in Canada and fifth globally, brings a wealth of faculty expertise, research excellence, and an exceptional record of training current and future generations of veterinarians to the partnership.
The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, which is accredited and delivered through OVC, trains almost one-third of all Canadian-educated veterinarians and provides clinical services for over 20,000 pets and large animals annually. The generous funding provided by the Ontario Government will help expand facilities in Guelph and build specialized labs and clinical facilities unique to veterinary science in the Thunder Bay region.
Overall, this investment in expanding veterinary training in Ontario is expected to benefit the agri-food sector, rural and Indigenous communities, and animal welfare.