Established in 2005, the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine opened its doors to its inaugural class – the class of 2012 – in the fall of 2008. The Faculty, Canada’s fifth school of Veterinary Medicine and the first to be opened in two decades, offered an innovative undergraduate veterinary program and graduate degrees designed to meet the needs of rural Alberta, the production animal and equine industries, animal and human health research and public health. “This is a very exciting day for us”, said Dean Alistair Cribb. “Our faculty have put together an exceptional program to match the quality of the outstanding Albertan students that have been accepted.”
The program, which is based on a partnership with the veterinary and animal health communities across western Canada, integrates active hands-on learning with scientific knowledge throughout its curriculum. In a new initiative called co-curricular record, students participate in off-campus experiential learning activities in each semester of their degree, with the final year spent learning with veterinarians across Alberta during 40 weeks of practicum rotation experiences. While the program provides a general veterinary education and prepares students for the range of professional careers in the profession, students also select one area they wish to focus on, and in which they will receive additional educational opportunities.
Hands on clinical, diagnostic, surgical and professional skills are taught in the Clinical Skills Building on the Spy Hill Campus which was opened in the fall of 2009 as students were entering the second year of their program. “The new facility features leading-edge imaging, surgical and diagnostic areas for large and small animals. Not only will it offer an advanced learning environment, it will help our students expand their understanding of the interactions between animal and human health, and build our province’s capacity to protect our food supply and exports”, commented Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology, at the opening celebrations. “Having access to the new technology, equipment and the building itself up at Spy Hill will enhance our learning experience in ways we can’t even imagine at this time”, said Amber Hutchinson, Class of 2012 President.