Preceptorship Program

Preceptorship Program Letter of Introduction to print/share

Thank you Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association for contributing $15,000 to the 2018 Preceptorship Program!



In 2003, with the aim of increasing the supply of large and mixed animal veterinarians in rural Saskatchewan, SVMA and the Ministry of Agriculture established an annual fund to subsidize the wages of first and second year veterinary students from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine who undergo summer mentorships with rural practices, thereby exposing and attracting new veterinarians to rural practice here in Saskatchewan.  With an 80% success rate, the program has shown a proven return on investment.  

The SVMA sees great potential in expanding this work placement concept to offer third year WCVM students opportunities to intern and to plant roots in rural Saskatchewan just as they are transitioning to practice through a new Preceptorship Program that features partnership with livestock producers. We know that livestock farmers count on large animal veterinarians to care for their herds and provide expert guidance to achieve the best quality, health and reproductive outcomes. We feel that having enough large and mixed animal veterinarians in Saskatchewan is a clear need for the livestock industry, and anticipate that inviting livestock producers to contribute to an endowment fund in support of a Preceptorship Program will have a good likelihood of success.

The summer of 2018 will be the pilot year for the Preceptorship Program (PP) and will provide $10,000 each of five (5) to Saskatchewan veterinary students who have finished their third year at WCVM. The formula for wage subsidies will be 35% from SVMA, 35% from the hiring practice and 30% from the contributors' Preceptorship Fund. We expect interest from rural clinics to be high, but are limiting the 2018 number to a conservative 5 in order to evaluate the program.

The application process for the PP will be a bit different from the existing Student Summer Mentorship Program. With the SSMP, first and second year WCVM students must seek out a rural large or mixed practice to mentor them for 14 weeks over the summer. Once the practice has agreed to take the student (through the program) they only need to sign a mentorship agreement with the student and their part is done.

The Preceptorship Program will have different requirements. Practices and 3rd year students will apply separately. Practices must be rural, large or mixed and will be selected by location in terms of urgency of need for veterinary services in their area.  Clinics need not have a student lined up in advance, but will be matched up with a student by the program. 

Finally, the Preceptorship Program will have different expectations of the practice. Third year PP students will be more proficient and able to undertake more aspects of veterinary medicine than their greener counterparts.  PP students will be expected to do more in the clinic and be directly supervised in doing so.  Such a partnership will be of great benefit to both the student and the practice.

There will only be five (5) 3rd year preceptorships in 2018. The due date for applications by both clinics and 3rd year students was December 31, 2017 and the practices and students for 2018 have now been selected.

SVMA accepts contributions to the Preceptorship Program Fund on an ongoing basis.