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Previous Experience with Swine Key to Attracting New Swine Vets
Dr. John Harding - Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Farmscape for May 14, 2024

A series of swine medicine surveys conducted by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine suggests some previous experience working with swine is an important factor in attracting veterinary students into swine practice.
In response to the shortage of swine veterinarians, researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a series of five surveys in which swine veterinarians in private or corporate practice and allied industry vets were asked such things as how long they have been in practice, their educational background, what attracted them to the profession and how long they plan to remain active.
Dr. John Harding, a professor of swine medicine with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says the majority of those surveyed had previous work experience with swine prior to completing their DVM program at university.

Quote-Dr. John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
30 percent of swine veterinarians had some summer experiences, presumably that's working on farms, 25 percent were actually raised on a pig farm and 25 percent had some research experience, presumably that being in an academic institution.
If you total those up, that's 80 percent had some experience prior to becoming a swine veterinarian.
So, the conclusion here is that some experience is really important to attract swine vets to the industry.
The third question we asked in this topic was what was or were the most influential factors in your choosing to become a swine veterinarian.
The highest ranked factors were the career, so basically what we do on a daily basis and then the second was the mentors, so who helps us become better veterinarians.
So, the career, what we do and the mentors were the highest ranked.
Others that were very highly ranked but not quite as high were agriculture, experiences in the industry and lifestyle so there's a really good balance.
We're doing things we want to do with the people we want to work with in agriculture, getting great experiences and providing a wonderful lifestyle.

Publication of the survey results is pending but, until that time, anyone wanting further information can contact Dr. Harding at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
For more visit Farmscape.Ca.
Bruce Cochrane.

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