The Ontario government has revealed its plans to help address veterinary shortages in the province, with a focus on large-animal practice in northern and remote communities.
A $15 million spend will establish a new Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program with the University of Guelph and Lakehead University, at Thunder Bay, to train more veterinarians. The government is also providing grants to new veterinary graduates as an incentive to work in under-serviced areas in the province.
The Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program with the University of Guelph and Lakehead University will enroll an additional 20 veterinary students per year, resulting in up to 80 new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine seats in total by 2028. The program will also focus on the recruitment of students from northern, rural and Indigenous communities.
The government is also launching the Veterinary Incentive Program to encourage recent veterinary graduates to practice in under-serviced and northern communities, including annual grants totaling up to $50,000 per person, conditional on the participant continuing to practice on large animals in these communities.
Increasing veterinary capacity is part of the Grow Ontario Strategy, the province’s plan to strengthen the agri-food sector, support economic growth and ensure an efficient, reliable and responsive food supply for Ontarians.