A primary cohort of 25 veterinary college students beginning in 2024 in Rimouski

The project was officially announced on Tuesday morning in Rimouski by the Minister of Higher Education, Danielle McCann, as well as by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), André Lamontagne.

This will eventually allow 25 more veterinarians to be trained per year, which is – and this is significant – 26% more compared to current cohorts., McCann said. Half of these new veterinarians will specialize in caring for large animals.

The Minister of Higher Education, Danielle McCann, was in Rimouski on Tuesday.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Simon Rail

The first three years of training will be offered toUQARwhile the fourth year will be given in the specialized facilities ofEMU. Internships will take place partly at the Saint-Hyacinthe University Hospital Veterinary Center (CHUV) and partly in the regions designated as vulnerable in terms of veterinary assistance According to studies carried out by MAPQ.

To provide this training, a new pavilion, representing an investment of US$100 million, will be built inUQAR. This building will include classrooms, a veterinary simulation center, laboratories, an animal facility and offices.

Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine are regions with serious shortages. [de vétérinaires]. So these regions were of interest to us. »

a quote from Christine Theoret, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary MedicineEMU

Mrs. Theoret explains that Rimouski was chosen to host this new veterinary medicine teaching pavilion, among other things because the city will bring together medical students from Université Laval’s decentralized program and trained wildlife and environmentUQAR.

Quebec did not specify what its financial stake in the project will be, as it is still in planning.

A profession in demand

Each year, the University of Montreal, which is the only one to offer training in veterinary medicine in Quebec, receives more than 1,000 applications for admission, but can only accept about a hundred new students, which is currently insufficient to respond to the request.

All shortages hurt, but when we talk about recruiting and retaining veterinarians in the regions, we are talking about vital issues for Quebec. It’s about the safe supply of commodities like milk, eggs, meat, it’s also about the health and well-being of pets.underlined the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine ofEMUChristine Theoret.

A third of large animal veterinarians will retire within five years and that worries farmers.

Farmers are concerned about the lack of large animal veterinarians. (Files)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Romy Boutin

Marco Duchesne, a farmer from Rimouski, indicates that it would be impossible for him to do without a veterinarian for his dairy cows.

He believes that the arrival of veterinary medicine students in Rimouski will be beneficial for the region.

They will be able to come to the farms, do their internship with the vetsadds the milk producer.

The first students of veterinary medicine will cross the doors of theUQAR in 2024, but we will have to wait five years, that is, 2029, before they enter the job market and contribute to solving the shortage.

With information from Michel-Félix Tremblay

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