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In Canada, to obtain a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree, a minimum of six years of university education is required: two years of pre-veterinary study at a regular university followed by four years of courses in veterinary medicine at one of the five Canadian veterinary colleges (five years in the province of Quebec).

Canada is welcoming hundreds of new foreign-trained veterinarians from all continents every year. To find out more about a career in veterinary medicine in Canada see:

“In my opinion and experience, there is not a jurisdiction in Canada that could not use more veterinary professionals. Alberta is full of practices looking to hire veterinarians and technologists, particularly in rural centres.” - Dr. Darrell Dalton, Registrar, ABVMA

Do you have what it takes?

Veterinary standards vary a lot throughout the world and the exams of the CVMA's National Examining Board ensure that foreign-trained veterinarians are as qualified as graduates of accredited veterinary medical schools.

The AVMA Council on Education (COE) accredits DVM or equivalent educational programs. The AVMA COE assures that minimum standards in veterinary medical education are met by all CVMA/AVMA-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine, and that students enrolled in those colleges receive an education which will prepare them for entry-level positions in the profession. All Canadian veterinary schools are CVMA/AVMA-COE accredited.

Before you decide to register as a candidate of the NEB we encourage you to complete the Self Assessment Tool for the Clinical Proficiency Exam. While not exhaustive, this tool will help you to determine if you are ready to perform the various tasks and skills that are being assessed during the practical exams of the NEB. 

Steps towards licensure in Canada

In Canada, licensing for veterinary medicine is the responsibility of the provincial veterinary association or a separate licensing body empowered by provincial legislation. The role and authority of the provincial licensing body is to protect and serve the public interest through the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine. While the general requirements to practise veterinary medicine are similar, specific requirements differ from province to province.

Obtaining a Certificate of Qualification by completing the NEB exams and requirements will allow you to apply for a general practice license in any Canadian province.

Coordinates of Provincial Veterinary Licensing Bodies 

Did you know?

  • Going through the full NEB process takes as little as twelve months if all exams are passed on the first attempt.
  • NEB candidates qualify for a special CVMA membership that gives access to many of the CVMA's valuable member benefits at a discounted rate of only $10 per year.
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