Welcome

The Department of Veterinary Pathology serves as the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's source of teaching, research and diagnostic services in all aspects of veterinary pathology.

Many of the department's faculty members are actively involved in the WCVM's anatomic and clinical pathology diagnostic services. These activities, which provide a wide range of case material, enrich the department's clinical and laboratory teaching programs as well as its research programs.

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Research

Research interests of faculty in the Department of Veterinary Pathology include diagnostic pathology, pathogenesis of infectious disease in poultry and mammals, mucosal immunity, innate immunity and disease resistance, viral oncogenesis, hematologic disorders and wildlife diseases.

Graduate Programs

All students wishing to apply for this MSc graduate program in Veterinary Pathology must first have a faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Pathology who has agreed to supervise their program. The purpose of this MSc program is to teach students how to do research. These are research degrees and not programs in diagnostic pathology. Qualified students with a DVM degree or without a DVM degree or equivalent may enter this program.

Historically, nearly all students in these programs have been graduate veterinarians. In this MSc program, students learn the processes of science at an introductory level by doing research that largely has been designed by someone else. Full independent research is not expected. Skills and knowledge to be acquired include the following: 

  • laboratory techniques
  • gathering and analysis of data
  • writing and publication
  • use of the library
  • broad knowledge of the subject area with some specific in‐depth knowledge

The MSc student will not necessarily be an expert in the research area at the end of the program.

These students may choose to spend additional time learning diagnostic skills, but the time required to acquire the skills and expertise of the research scientist can not be reduced to accomplish this additional diagnostic experience. Instead, the duration of the total program must be increased.

Students without DVM degrees may be required to take pathology courses as appropriate to their area of research. Graduates should be able to apply the tools of scientific investigation to well-defined problems. They should be well versed in the fundamentals of scientific research. Students with DVM degrees should have moderate diagnostic knowledge and skills, and students without DVM degrees should have a broad general background in general pathology and related basic biomedical subjects.

Download program description

The purpose of this new MSc (Diagnostic Pathology) program is to offer research training in addition to diagnostic training component. Students will be eligible to sit for the certifying examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) in addition to research training. Qualified students with a DVM may enter this program. A supervisor is not required at the time of application. In this MSc program, students learn the processes of diagnostics and research. This program is oriented to learning by doing diagnostic work and research under supervision. Full independent research is not expected. Clinical

Qualified students with a DVM may enter this program. A supervisor is not required at the time of application. In this MSc program, students learn the processes of diagnostics and research. This program is oriented to learning by doing diagnostic work and research under supervision. Full independent research is not expected. Clinical

In this MSc program, students learn the processes of diagnostics and research. This program is oriented to learning by doing diagnostic work and research under supervision. Full independent research is not expected. Clinical course work in diagnostic pathology, either anatomic or clinical pathology, is a major component of study for all students. 

Skills and knowledge to be acquired include the following:  

  • laboratory techniques 
  • gathering and analysis of data
  • writing and publication
  • use of the library
  • broad knowledge of the subject area with some specific in‐depth knowledge

The MSc student will not necessarily be an expert in the research area at the end of the program. Graduates should be able to apply the tools of scientific investigation to well-defined problems. They should be well versed in the fundamentals of scientific research and have fully competent diagnostic knowledge and skills. They should be well on their way to successful writing of the ACVP examination. Note: ACVP eligibility requires three years of training.

Download program description

The Master of Veterinary Science (MVetSc) program is oriented to learning by doing diagnostic work under supervision. The program is available only to students with a DVM degree or equivalent. Clinical course work in diagnostic pathology, either anatomic or clinical pathology, is the major component of study for all students. Students majoring in anatomic or clinical pathology may take courses to obtain limited experience in clinical or anatomic pathology respectively. Students majoring in clinical pathology normally also obtain training in surgical pathology.

In the Wildlife Health Option in Anatomic Pathology, students acquire knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the practice of wildlife veterinary medicine. The program uses the core activities of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (Western and Northern Regional Centre) as its "clinic" for practical experience in the practice of wildlife veterinary medicine. The core curriculum includes anatomical pathology of both domestic and wild animals, chemical immobilization, animal handling and drug safety, risk analysis in wildlife health issues, disease surveillance and field investigation of wildlife diseases, and course work in wild animal diseases, statistics and wildlife biology, and a small research project.

The goal of the MVetSc program is to graduate competent, broadly trained diagnosticians in either clinical pathology or anatomic pathology. They should be well on their way to successful writing of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) examination if they choose to do this. Note: ACVP eligibility requires three years of training.

In the Avian Pathology/Medicine option, course work would include epidemiology, pathology, microbiology, nutrition and poultry science. Training is directed at successful writing of the certifying examination of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV). The MVetSc degree is not a research degree. The research component of the program is small, giving an introductory encounter. However, the research component is essential to the program. It is intended to provide insights into the strengths and limitations of research data and, thereby, to foster critical evaluation of scientific information.

Research projects for MVetSc students most often will deal with problems in applied, diagnostic veterinary pathology. Some may venture into the pathogenesis of disease, but major experimental studies exceed the intended scope of the research component of the program. Some students may choose to enrol in a PhD program following completion of the MVetSc degree. The MVetSc degree normally requires two years to complete. The application deadline is December 1, with MVetSc programs beginning August 15.

Program description

All students wishing to apply for the PhD graduate program in Veterinary Pathology must first have a faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Pathology who has agreed to supervise their program. Interested students should contact the department prior to making any application. A curriculum vitae and statement of career goals may be forwarded to the Department Graduate Program Co-ordinators (vetpath.gradstudies@usask.ca) or to the Department Graduate Chair (elemir.simko@usask.ca).

If a supervisor is identified, the student is then invited to submit an application. In the event that no supervisor is found, the Department of Veterinary Pathology is unable to accept any application. With the recommendation of the unit, direct entry PhD admission is available to exceptionally strong students, who show great promise in terms of academic accomplishments and potential for research.

  • A four‐year honours degree, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least a 80 per cent (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. 60 credit units)
  • Language Proficiency Requirements. Proof of English proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English. Visit the U of S College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information.

In the PhD program, the degree of expertise and independence expected is much greater than in the MSc program. Independent research with guidance is the main component. Knowledge of the subject area should be both broad and deep. At completion, the PhD graduate should be an expert in the dissertation topic. The place of diagnostic veterinary pathology in the PhD program is variable. Students with DVM degrees should learn the skills of the diagnostic pathologist sufficiently to make use of these important tools of pathology in their research. Also, veterinarians in the PhD program may, upon graduation, seek academic positions that require clinical service and teaching as well as research. These students may choose to spend additional time learning diagnostic skills, but the time required to acquire the skills and expertise of the research scientist cannot be reduced to accomplish this additional diagnostic experience. Instead, the duration of the total program must be increased.

Graduates should be ready to enter junior academic or research positions. They should be capable of independent research and know how to make hypotheses that can be tested. They should have some experience in teaching and in presentation of data at scientific meetings. They should have broad knowledge of general pathology and in‐‐‐depth knowledge of their research field. Those with DVM degrees should have moderate diagnostic skills.

Visit the U of S College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for general information about graduate studies. The web site’s Admission Requirements section contains important information for prospective graduate students whose first language is not English.

Program description

All Senior Residents (SRs) must have a program supervisor who is a senior pathologist in the Department of Veterinary Pathology. The supervisor should be chosen by mutual agreement, preferably at the time of acceptance into the program. For Senior Residents who intend to write the ACVP boards, the supervisor would normally also be the student’s sponsor for the board examination and, therefore, would be board certified.

In our Department, board certification is usually by the ACVP in Clinical Pathology or Anatomic Pathology, but SRs with an avian focus may choose to prepare for the certifying examination of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV). Senior Residents are not obligated to prepare for board examinations during their program and may focus on honing diagnostic, teaching and research skills in various combinations.

Senior Residents who are unsure about their readiness to write the board examination should seek the advice of their supervisor well before December (in the case of the ACVP examination). In keeping with the “Responsibilities of a Sponsor of a Candidate for the ACVP Examination” (see the ACVP web site), Department pathologists will not serve as sponsors unless they feel confident that the candidate fulfils the requirements and has been thoroughly prepared. The Department Head will be responsible for administrative aspects of the Senior Residency.

Licensure with the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association

To participate in the Senior Residency Program, all Senior Residents require licensure with the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association. Usually the “Educational” category license is the most appropriate. Students do not need any components of the NEB examination in order to be eligible for the educational category license.

Terms of Reference: Senior Residency in Veterinary Pathology

General: The following are general guidelines for a one‐‐‐year program of study for individuals who have at least two years of intensive and diverse diagnostic training in Clinical or Anatomic Pathology and who wish to further enhance their diagnostic skills and gain clinical teaching experience. While details of the program will be developed for each Resident, preparation to write the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) board examination is strongly encouraged. 

Program: Senior Residency
Participant: Senior Resident
Duration: 12 months application

Internal applicants must supply:

  • Letter of intent and career goals

External applicants must supply:

  • Letter of intent and career goals
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of reference sent directly to department from referees
  • Official original transcripts sent directly to department from institution
  • Official original NAVLE, TOEFL (or other English language test) scores
  • Proof of eligibility for licensure with the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (must obtain licensure in order to conduct independent diagnostic work)
  • An assessment by department faculty may be required if it is not clear that the applicant has the necessary background

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is February 1.

Starting date: The starting date is August 15.

Prerequisites: A minimum of two years of intensive and diverse diagnostic training in Clinical or Anatomic Pathology (e.g. MVetSc or equivalent) and eligibility for licensure by the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association.

Objectives: To work independently, but with appropriate support, as a diagnostic pathologist and clinical teacher in order to enhance diagnostic and teaching skills. The one‐‐‐year residency following formal diagnostic training will also fulfil the requirements for ACVP board eligibility, and provide the opportunity to prepare for the ACVP board examination. Outline: Each Resident's program will be planned at the outset within the following guidelines:

  • 20 weeks will be committed to any combination of diagnostic service and undergraduate and graduate clinical teaching (the combination may vary with the needs of the Resident and the Department).
  • 10 weeks will be reserved for independent study and other scholarly activity.

Residents may take up to a maximum of 6 course credits; course fees would apply.

  • 19 weeks would include regular participation in Department functions and any combination of additional diagnostic service or teaching, preparation for the ACVP board examination, and/or research. Participation in Department functions includes attendance at seminars and rounds, presentation of 2 noon hour seminars, and presentation of 1 mystery slide seminar. Residents who commit to writing the board examination will generally reserve the balance of this time for board preparation.

Senior Residents are assumed to have adequate skills to be competent diagnosticians. They are, however, encouraged to consult regularly with senior pathologists in dealing with diagnostic material. There will be a faculty advisor who will oversee the Resident's program.

Progress: Evaluation of the Resident's progress and ability will be by the faculty of the Department and Professional Associates with Prairie Diagnostic Services. There will be one formal assessment approximately halfway through the program and a final assessment near the end of the program. Feedback will be provided by the Resident's advisor.

Recognition of Achievement: Participants who complete the program satisfactorily will receive a certificate from the Department of Veterinary Pathology. Remuneration: For eligible candidates, financial support may be available through the Interprovincial Graduate Fellowship Fund.

Time Allotments (used in calculating teaching and service commitments):

  • Clinical Pathology: 1 day of duty or 1 day of VINT 580 = 1 day
  • Anatomic Pathology: 1 day of necropsy duty or 1 day of VINT 580 = 2 days
  • Surgical Pathology: 1 day of duty = 1 day
  • Graduate Student Supervision — Mammalian Pathology: 1 day = .5 day; 1 week = 2.5 days
  • Surgical Pathology: 1 day = .5 day; 1 week = 2.5 days

Program description

For further information about Veterinary Pathology graduate programs, please contact:

Angela Turner, Program Co-ordinator
Department of Veterinary Pathology
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, U of S
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4 Canada
Tel: 306-966-7308 | Fax: 306-966-7439

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Veterinary Pathology provides undergraduate summer research opportunities for veterinary students and undergraduate students through the Interprovincial Undergraduate Student Summer Research program and other similar research programs on campus. Please contact individual faculty members for more information about these programs. 

The Department of Veterinary Pathology also provides required courses for the WCVM's Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program (200- to 400-level courses). 

Contact Us

Department of Veterinary Pathology
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, U of S
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4 Canada


Tel: 306.966.7308 • Fax: 306.966.7439

Department Location: WCVM 1622

Veterinary Pathology Administration