Pathway to a DVM Degree

“The AVC is committed to producing graduates with the knowledge, skills, aptitudes, and attitudes to become proficient entry-level veterinarians in multi-species clinical practice, with the flexibility to pursue a variety of focused opportunities in clinical practice or other career tracks available to the veterinary profession.”

The DVM curriculum is four years in duration consisting of three preclinical years followed by one clinical year. It combines a broad based, multispecies core with elective opportunities that allow students to shape their own career paths in Years 3 and 4.

All Year 1 courses are required and include instruction in the basic science disciplines with a focus on normal form and function with opportunities for integrated problem-based learning. Coursework in animal behaviour, welfare and production systems, as well as epidemiology and critical reasoning is included. Basic clinical skills including animal restraint and handling are also introduced with opportunities to interact with faculty, staff and senior students in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Year 1 also includes a course in fundamental research principles, and expanded opportunities to explore concepts related to professional identity and develop skills such as reflective practice, self-awareness, communication, cultural competence, resilience, and well-being.

All Year 2 courses are required and include instruction in disease processes and agents as well as public health and evidence-based medicine. Course work in clinical disciplines such as medicine, surgery, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, theriogenology, and primary care practice is introduced as well as training in related clinical skills. In addition, a course that builds on Year 1 content in the Professional Foundations strand offers opportunities related to ethics and moral reasoning, professional values, leadership, and clinical communication skills.

Year 3 transitions to a core-elective structure for both large and small animal disciplines with the majority of core coursework occurring in semester one and the majority of elective courses offered in semester two in a series of five week modules. Year 3 core courses address fundamental knowledge and skills in large and small animals, including decision-making for both well and sick animals. Year 3 electives are designed to give students added flexibility and allow them opportunities to focus on a particular species or career interest beyond the core curriculum.

In Year 4 students are required to participate in at least 39 weeks of clinical rotations and a 2-credit seminar-based course entitled Clinical Conference. Clinical rotations offer students the opportunity to apply their veterinary medical and professional knowledge and skills under the mentorship of experienced faculty members. Each rotation ranges in duration from one to three weeks and one week of rotation equates to one academic credit. Students are required to take a common core of eight three week rotations including Anesthesiology, Radiology, Companion Animal Medicine, Companion Animal Surgery, Community Practice, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, Large Animal Health Management, and Diagnostic Services. Beyond this core, students must take an additional three weeks of more specialized internal electives, while the remaining twelve weeks of electives may be any combination of internal or approved external rotations.

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