Burwash Equine Services recently hosted 60 veterinary students and vet tech students from across Canada at an event appropriately called Spotlight: Equine Vet Practice in Canada, an industry-leading weekend conference that highlights the positives of a career in Equine medicine.

With equine veterinarians representing only 4.9% of veterinarians in private practice, there is a critical shortage of veterinarians in Canada. By many accounts, the shortage of registered veterinary technologists (RVTs) is even more critical; there currently are not enough RVTs in the industry, and those coming out of school are being pushed away from equine practice and lead to pursue other veterinary sectors.

“Vet and vet tech students are often discouraged from pursuing a career in equine practice,” begins Dr. Crystal Lee, equine veterinarian and co-owner of Burwash Equine Services. “The shortage of veterinarians in Canada is becoming a major problem, and this shortage is acute to the equine field in particular. Spotlight is the first of its kind and I plan to host it every year at Burwash as my way of answering the call to highlight the positives of the career that I love for students.”

There were 14 industry partners and 27 veterinary clinics involved in sponsoring this innovative event January 13-14, in addition to the 50 helpers — veterinarians from across western Canada, vet techs from across Alberta, industry reps, and other friends of the industry — that helped make Dr. Lee’s vision a success.

“There were so many equine veterinarians and vet technicians from across western Canada that stepped up to help teach labs and to speak about a day in their lives,” continues Dr. Lee. “You could feel the excitement and passion for equine practice in every moment of this weekend!”

Thanks to generous sponsorship, the Spotlight event was completely funded so that there was no cost for students to attend, covering student’s hotel, flight, and fuel expenses. Attendees raved that it was an “amazing hands-on experience with excellent mentorship and teaching — the labs, lectures, and networking opportunities were something we could never have gotten at school, and it was so cool to meet students from across the country!”

To learn more about Spotlight, visit here.