WCVM rechristens veterinary hospital
The University of Saskatchewan recently approved the name change of the WCVM Veterinary Teaching Hospital to the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC).
As WCVM Dean Dr. Douglas Freeman explains, the new name better reflects the facility’s overall mandate as a centre of excellence for veterinary education, primary and specialized clinical services and health research in Western Canada.
“When the WCVM opened its veterinary hospital in 1969, the facility was mainly geared toward giving our veterinary students practical, clinical experience. But over the past four decades, the facility has dramatically grown in size and in purpose,” says Freeman.
The WCVM VMC is now internationally recognized for its state-of-the-art clinical practice, its cutting-edge clinical research and its extensive service and community engagement.
“While this building and its people continue to play an integral role in educating future veterinarians and specialists, the hospital has also become a dynamic centre for primary animal health care, for specialized veterinary services and for health care research that benefits animals as well as humans. The new name — Veterinary Medical Centre — simply does a better job of conveying the building’s multiple roles to the public.”
- Education: The recently expanded facility, which includes a Large Animal Clinic, Small Animal Clinic and Field Service, is a vital part of the WCVM’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and combined graduate-clinical residency programs. The VMC provides future veterinary practitioners and specialists with hands-on experience in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of animal species.
- Clinical services: The medical centre’s clinical services are available to all western Canadian animal owners, whether they’re horse owners living near Abbotsford, B.C., or pet owners living in the suburbs of Saskatoon, Sask. The VMC offers primary clinical services such as vaccinations and regular checkups, plus it provides a range of specialized services including medical imaging, internal medicine, surgery, oncology, dentistry, ophthalmology, reproduction services, acupuncture and rehabilitation. It also offers 24-hour emergency and critical care and serves as the referral centre for veterinarians across Western Canada.
- Health research: As WCVM researchers continue to investigate new diagnostic techniques and improved treatment methods for animals, the VMC serves an important role in these research initiatives. Its diverse patient caseload, which includes challenging referral cases from across the four western provinces, provides a large number of real-life veterinary cases for innovative clinical trials as well as for prospective and retrospective studies at the WCVM.
In addition, the VMC, its people and technologies are playing a key role in translational research initiatives that will ultimately enhance health care for animals as well as humans.
For example, the WCVM recently purchased a 6MV linear accelerator from the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency for its radiation oncology program. The unit will enhance health care options for veterinary oncology patients, but it will also be a valuable resource for veterinary and human biomedical researchers.
On a local level, the WCVM and its veterinary medical centre are working with Saskatchewan animal owners and organizations to organize a number of activities that will enhance animal health services and provide WCVM veterinary students with more opportunities to gain practical, real-life experience with common disorders and routine procedures before entering practices.
These initiatives include a spay-neuter program in partnership with the Saskatoon SPCA, Saturday vaccination clinics and seasonal visits to large herds of cattle and horses for herd-level health care procedures such as pregnancy diagnosis, dentistry, castrations and vaccinations.
Additional name changes
Additional name changes are being made around the WCVM. The Food Animal Clinical Sciences (Bovine) Facility, located north of the main building, will be changed to its common name, the Bovine Teaching Unit. Also north of the veterinary college is the Bovine Research Building, generally referred to as the Bull Barn, but neither accurately reflects its use. Instead, the building will become the Reproduction Centre, indicating both multi-species teaching and research.
The open area that separates these two renamed buildings, the Equine Performance Centre and the WCVM paddocks from the entrance to the Large Animal Clinic on the north side of the main college building now carries the name of Veterinary Court. That’s the old name of the curved drive in front of the WCVM building, a name not widely known or used. Instead, that roadway will be called Veterinary Crescent.
With files from On Campus News.