CVMA | Documents | Veterinary Medicine in Canada

Veterinary Medicine in Canada

September 11, 2013

Regulation of the Practice of Veterinary Medicine in Canada
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association does not have the authority to regulate the practice of veterinary medicine. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is a non-profit member service organization that supports the veterinary profession in Canada by recommending best practices and providing programs and services. In Canada, the veterinary profession, like many other professions, is regulated at the provincial level. The provincial regulatory bodies ensure that veterinarians practice in a fair and just manner. A listing of the provincial regulatory bodies can be found here
What is a Veterinarian?
A veterinarian is a doctor of animal health who has trained at a university for at least six years to earn a doctoral degree (the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree) and is licensed to provide medical and surgical care for animals. A listing of Canada’s five veterinary schools can be found here. Approximately 450 students graduate from Canadian veterinary schools each year. Veterinarians are educated to protect the health of both animals and humans. Not only do they address the health needs of a wide variety of animal species, they also play a critical role in environmental protection, food safety, animal welfare and public health. A licensed veterinarian can work in several different areas including private practice, government, teaching, research or industry. In order to maintain a license to practice veterinary medicine, veterinarians are required to expand and improve their professional activities on a regular basis through continuing education. Currently, there are 12,547 veterinarians in Canada.
What is an AHT/RVT/VT?
An Animal Health Technologist/Technician or Veterinary Technologist/Technician is a person who is professionally trained in a college program for two or three years to earn an AHT/RVT/VT diploma. A listing of Canada’s accredited AHT/VT programs can be found here. AHT/RVT/VT’s are vital members of the veterinary healthcare team who work in a variety of areas within the field of veterinary medicine. These animal health professionals must satisfy continuing education requirements throughout their career in order to maintain their certification. A listing of the provincial AHT/RVT/VT associations can be found here.
Other Veterinary Organizations
A listing of veterinary-related associations, organizations, government agencies and more can be found here.