Weekend Rounds - 06.25

Addressing the vet shortage on both side of the border

Good morning.

We won't lie... writing a newsletter about veterinary medicine in the wake Roe V. Wade being reversed feels a little inconsequential. We typically try to brighten your morning with a laugh and keep you informed but we are heart broken and devastated by the news. When the news was leaked in May we wrote about the AVMA's political contributions and if you need a refresher or are new here you can read that issue


With the decision in place it is time to check in with your friends and colleagues. Take the time you need to take care of yourself. And if you are a clinic owner or employer, please consider supporting taking action to support safe travel and access for medical care, like some companies

We feel incredibly helpless against this cruel decision, and our heart goes out to our friends south of the border. There is no good transition to our typical newsletter content, but here's what we're covering:

👩🏽‍⚕️ Addressing the vet shortage

🇨🇦 Something to celebrate in Canada

📈 A new way to think about biodiversity

😊 We could all use a smile

More vets please

Two programs in Canada and the U.S. are seeking to train new qualified veterinary professionals and address the staff shortage:In 🇨🇦, new funding in British Columbia seeks to connect more immigrants to careers in veterinary medicine. The provincial government has provided nearly $500,000 to Colleges in the Greater Vancouver Area to deliver a 22-week veterinary assistant diploma training program. Participants will receive 17 weeks of skills training, four weeks of local work experience and one week of follow-up support to assist in their job search.The investment builds on $10.68 million the Province provided to double the number of veterinarian seats from 20 to 40 this August at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. By increasing the number of veterinary professionals entering the workforce, the Province is seeking to help address the shortage of vets in B.C.In 🇺🇸, the University of Minnesota-Crookston has launched the VetFAST program to help train undergraduate students interested in a career in veterinary medicine. Students who enroll in the program will be eligible to complete their bachelors of science (BS) and doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) in seven years instead of eight, have access to mentorships with DVM faculty and other DVM students and summer veterinary and industry work opportunities. The program acceptance rate is nearly 60% - compared the national average of 11% for veterinary school. The program is pulling on a vast network of undergraduate students and holding their spot until they have completed the required courses to help train qualified vets quickly.

Oh Canada

The Manitoba government has approved $750,000 in new funding to create better care for animals in remote and Indigenous communities. The funding is being matched by the Winnipeg Humane Society - creating a total investment of $1.5M. The program will be co-developed by Manitoba’s Office of the Chief Veterinarian (Dr. Scott Zaari), Winnipeg Humane Society, and Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association and others.

The aptly named One Health Program recognizes the link between animal health and human well-being over the next five years and according the Humane Society website recognizes Truth and Reconciliation as a key pillar of the program.

A new concept published in RIO Journal has put forward a system to help determine the value of a species, and how human activities affect biodiversity. Researchers call it a “species stock market”, and say that the concept works much like the regular stock market, but instead of buying and trading animals, the goal is to help track the value of different species to biodiversity. According to The Washington post, the idea might be worth considering if it helps humans see our effects on animal species and point to ways to build biodiversity protection: "Biodiversity is in decline worldwide, with a rapid fall in the abundance of native species and threats to a wide variety of animals. A 2019 United Nations report found that 1 million plant and animal species could go extinct within decades, and that at least 680 vertebrate species were driven to extinction since the 16th century."

How the system would come to life in practice is still unclear to us, and frankly a little complicated considering the authors are looking to create “digital species” using DNA information and knowledge about animals’ traits, distribution and other factors. At this stage, our number one question is what the market would be called.... the NASDUQ? the Cow Jones?

New report takes a deep dive into pet ownership [AVMA]

How zoology got female animals all wrong [CNN]

How unnecessary expenses hurt the bottom line of veterinary practices [DVM360]

Why some animals evolved to sacrifice themselves [National Geographic]

Why scientists think you should speak politely to animals [ZME Science]

The hidden side of house calls [DVM360] 

It has been a long week... we could all use something to make us smile. So we present to you a video of a man stopping to rescue a kitten from the side of the road only to be ambushed by 13 of them. He rescued them all, cared for them and has received thousands of offers for adoption. Faith in humanity restored... almost.

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