Veterinary Shortage Appears to be a Long-Term Problem

Written by: Jamie Rothenburger
Published on: May 19, 2022

vet with cow
Photo credit: dusanpetkovic1/Adobe Stock

When I graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010, there were only a handful of advertised jobs. I was hired by a rural practice near Calgary through a lucky word-of-mouth connection—vet positions in this area were in short supply.

Times have changed. Now veterinary professional publications feature pages of vet wanted ads, offering all manner of incentives including signing bonuses and community desirability (“come work in our rural community, we have excellent schools, community recreational facilities and proximity to an international airport”).

There is growing consensus that a shortage of veterinarians exists in Canada and the results of two important recent studies indicate that the problem is going to get worse.

The Canadian and Alberta veterinary medical associations commissioned workforce studies (completed in 2020 and 2021 respectively) to document the need for veterinarians and offer insight into potential solutions.

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