Preceptorship Program


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.

Last summer (2018) was the pilot year for the Preceptorship Program (PP), which provided $10,000 to each of five (5) to Saskatchewan veterinary students finishing their third year at WCVM. The formula for wage subsidies is 35% from SVMA, 35% from the hiring practice and 30% from the contributors' Preceptorship Fund.

There will be six (6) preceptorships awarded for the summer of 2019. The application process for the PP is different from the  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 has different requirements. Practices and 3rd year students need to 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 has different expectations of the practice. Third year PP students are 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.

SVMA accepts contributions to the Preceptorship Program Fund on an ongoing basis. If your organization is interested in contibuting, please contact Lorraine Serhienko