DVM Non-Academic Requirements

Non-Academic Requirements

All applicants are required to submit structured descriptions of their veterinary and animal experiences prior to application to the DVM program. The goal of these experiences is to provide applicants with insight into the breadth of the veterinary profession and assist them in making an informed career choice.

Veterinary experience must be obtained under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian working in the field of veterinary medicine. It may be paid or voluntary. Experiences may involve general or referral clinical practice and/or provision of veterinary care to animals in research laboratories, zoos, animal shelters, and animal rehabilitation facilities. Experience with veterinarians working in non-clinical capacities including regulatory or public health agencies is also acceptable. Veterinary experience should involve direct interactions with one or more veterinarians working in the field and should not be restricted to reception or administrative duties only. Applicants should be advised that there is no minimum number of hours required for application; however, it is advised to attain as many hours with as many different species (e.g., swine, cows, horses, exotic pets, dogs, cats, etc.) as possible. In most cases, veterinary experience within North America is recommended.

Animal experience may involve working with livestock, breeding or showing animals, working in a pet store, participating in equestrian activities, or any other animal related hobby or experience where a veterinarian is not always present and/or does not provide direct supervision. It may be paid or voluntary. Please note that animal experience for the purposes of application to the DVM program does not include pet ownership.

Selection Criteria

As the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats available, completion of the academic requirements is no guarantee of admission to the DVM Program. In addition to academic achievement, the Admissions Committee also assesses non-academic achievement and aptitude. Information for this assessment will be obtained from an interview and the Work and School Approach and Behaviour Test (W-SAB Test). Only those applicants who rank highly based on academic requirements will be invited to interview and complete the W-SAB test on site at the Atlantic Veterinary College.

Interview (20% of overall admissions score)

The interview will draw on the applicant’s veterinary and animal experiences submitted as part of the application process. Applicants will be asked to expand upon the details they provided regarding their experiences and discuss how they have contributed to their understanding of the veterinary profession. Applicants should be advised that a failing score (less than 50%) in the interview will result in their removal from further consideration in the admissions process.

Work and School Approach and Behaviour Test (20% of overall admissions score)

The Work and School Approach and Behaviour Test (W-SAB Test) is a personality inventory that has been designed, validated and standardized with a population of candidates applying to professional academic programs. Each scale in the test was designed to evaluate critical approaches and behaviours found in daily academic and professional situations. Applicants should be advised that it is not possible to study or prepare for the W-SAB.

Interview and W-SAB Testing

All interviews and W-SAB testing occur onsite at the Atlantic Veterinary College on the following dates:

  • International applicants: Saturday, November 18, 2017
  • Atlantic Canadian applicants: Monday, April 30, 2018

Essential Skills and Abilities Required for the Study of Veterinary Medicine

Applicants must be aware that, in addition to the requirements outlined above, there are a number of attributes that are necessary for admission to the DVM Program. These are presented below to assist prospective students preparing for admission.

  1. Observation: Students must be able to participate in learning situations that require observational skills. In particular, students must be able to accurately observe animals of all common domestic species and acquire visual, auditory and tactile information.
  2. Communication: Students must be able to adequately speak, hear, and observe patients and clients to effectively and efficiently elicit information, describe activity and posture, and perceive non-verbal communication. Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with clients and other members of the veterinary health care team. Students must be able to coherently summarize an animal patient’s condition and treatment plan verbally and in writing.
  3. Motor Skills: Students must demonstrate sufficient motor function to safely perform a physical examination on patients of all common domestic species including palpation, auscultation, and percussion. Examinations must be done independently and in a timely fashion. Students must be able to use common diagnostic aids or instruments including a stethoscope, otoscope, and ophthalmoscope. Students must be able to execute motor movements required to provide general and emergency medical and surgical care to animal patients in a variety of settings.
  4. Intellectual Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: Students must demonstrate the cognitive skills and memory necessary to measure, calculate, analyze, integrate and synthesize large quantities of information from various sources. Students must be able to comprehend dimensional and spatial relationships. Students must be able to execute complex problem-solving activities in a timely fashion.
  5. Behavioural and Social Attributes: Students must manage the intellectual challenges of the program. Students must apply good judgment and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of animal patients. Students must cultivate mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with clients and other members of the veterinary health care team. Students must be able to tolerate the physical, emotional, and psychological demands of the program and function effectively under stress. Adaptability to changing environments and the ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the care of animal patients are necessary skills. Personal qualities exemplified by members of the veterinary profession such as compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, initiative, and motivation are also expected of students.

The AVC is committed to facilitating the integration of students with disabilities. Students with a disability will receive reasonable accommodation that will assist them in meeting the requirements for graduation from the DVM program. Such accommodation however cannot compromise animal well-being or the safety of people involved. Consequently, it may not be possible to accommodate all disabilities and facilitate successful completion of the DVM program. For additional information regarding support, contact UPEI Accessibility Services.

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