Teaching vets to connect: Three networking success strategies for internationally-trained Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVMs) in Canada

Published April 4, 2023.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 

In summary:

  • Internationally-educated veterinarians and animal health professionals are in demand in most parts of the country. 
  • They can strengthen their career opportunities in Canada by focusing on professional networking, both in-person and online.
  • Connections you make with Canadian-trained and foreign-trained animal health professionals can support you in reaching your career goals in your new country. 

Many talented animal health professionals come to Canada every year, seeking new opportunities and a chance to make a difference in the lives of animals and people, in every part of the country. 

But the path to success as an internationally-trained veterinarian can be challenging. Even if you have the skills and knowledge needed to excel in your field, you may struggle to make the connections you need to find new career opportunities in Canada. That's why networking is so important. 

By building a strong professional network, you can connect with other veterinarians and animal health professionals, learn about new job openings and gain valuable insights into the Canadian veterinary industry. In fact, according to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of animal health employers in Canada say that networking is one of the most important factors they consider when hiring new staff. 

Check out more career success tips for internationally-trained veterinarians in Canada by reading our recent blog post, found here. 

Fortunately, there are many opportunities for networking in the Canadian veterinary industry. You can attend industry events, join professional organizations, and participate in online forums and social media groups. By getting involved in these communities, you can build relationships with other veterinarians and animal health professionals and position yourself for career success. 

And the demand for veterinary professionals in Canada is high. In fact, the Canadian government estimates that the country will need nearly 1,700 new veterinarians by 2026 to keep up with demand. So, if you're an internationally-trained veterinarian looking to build a successful career in Canada, you’ve clicked on the right blog article. 

The Windmill Microlending blog interviewed Serena Nashed, Global Mobility Specialist at VetStrategy. A Windmill partner, VetStrategy is Canada’s largest veterinary practice network, offering a wide range of career opportunities in various animal health clinics and hospitals. They also provide extensive support to internationally-qualified veterinarians empowering them to reach their career goals in Canada. Nashed offers the following networking success strategies to help you on your Canadian career journey. 



Ontario-based, VetStrategy, is a Windmill Microlending partner that supports foreign-trained veterinarians to launch their careers in Canada. 


Networking Success Strategy #1: Stay connected with provincial associations and licensing bodies 

In some parts of the country, provincial associations and licensing bodies are combined, while in others, they are separate. Regardless, following the latest advocacy efforts of provincial associations as well as regulatory requirements of licensing bodies can help you understand the issues, trends and competencies that define the Canadian animal health landscape, as well as the requirements particular to your province or territory. These organizations can also be helpful in terms of learning about professional development courses and conferences. 


HubSpot Video

WATCH: VetStrategy’s Serena Nashed shares three networking tips to help internationally-trained doctors of veterinary medicine (DVMs) succeed in Canada. 

Networking Success Strategy #2: Attend veterinary conferences 

Whether you attend the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) annual conference, a virtual networking night or a regional gathering in the community in which you live or work, professional development conferences and events are critical to building your network in your new country. Several provinces have their own conferences. For example, in Ontario, there is the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OMVA) Annual Conference. At these events, you can make connections with professionals from across the country. This is also true of trade shows and professional development courses, which offer you, not only the chance to improve your skills and knowledge, but also to form relationships with fellow students and attendees. 

You’ll often find representatives from the VetStrategy team at these conferences, across the country. Don’t hesitate to come connect with us, too! 

Want to understand how to navigate the veterinary licensing process and become a veterinarian in Canada? Download Windmill’s free Educational Pathways for Skilled Newcomers today. 

Networking Success Strategy #3: Create an online presence 

Whether you join a dedicated Facebook or LinkedIn group for internationally-educated veterinarians in Canada, follow fellow animal health professionals through their public social media accounts, or take the time to cultivate your own online presence by sharing industry news, trends, best practices through via own social media profiles, doing so can help you raise your profile in the Canadian job market.  

Even updating your LinkedIn account to highlight milestones on your own journey, such as conferences you attend or journal articles you’ve read, can help position you as a sectoral thought leader in your new community.  

Maintaining an active online presence can also help you strengthen your connections with other DVMs trained in Canada or abroad – enabling you to direct messaging them when you have questions or need support. 

Can Windmill Microlending help you pay for the costs of qualifying exams or credential evaluations in Canada? Find out if you are eligible for a microloan, of up to $15,000, from us. Take our online two-minute loan eligibility quiz, today. 


Categorized in: Accreditation and Licensing, A Newcomer's Journey, In-demand Jobs, Education and Training,