The Hokkaido University School of Veterinary Medicine aims to foster veterinarians who can meet the diverse social needs for veterinary medicine--needs that go beyond the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of animal diseases to the safe supply of animal products, contributions to drug development and biochemistry, the protection and management of wild animals, and the control of zoonotic disease--based on veterinary medicine as a natural science that is responsible for all animal life on the earth.
However, understanding the diverse social roles played by veterinary medicine requires comprehensive knowledge of cultural and social sciences, as well as of natural science. Additionally, scientific thinking and judgement, along with an international perspective, must be cultivated towards resolving various global issues related to veterinary medicine. Furthermore, students are encouraged to foster the rich humanity and high moral values that are required for veterinarians and researchers, who will play a central role in promoting harmonious relationships between animals and humans.
Since 2012, Hokkaido University and the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine have offered the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program in order to provide international-level veterinary education, and have provided practical and advanced veterinary education leveraging the research field of Hokkaido. The Hokkaido University School of Veterinary Medicine has been engaged in a major way in research on zoonotic diseases, life science research, preservation of ecosystem and clinical experiments on small animals, while Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine has focused on medical care for farm animals, production medicine and education on public hygiene, all of which are necessary for veterinarians. Veterinary medicine is facing increasingly diverse social needs. These include the risk management of food safety, the prevention of animal-borne diseases including zoonoses, the appropriate treatment of diverse diseases of domestic animals, the responses to advanced technologies for disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment, animal welfare and wildlife conservation. To effectively address these issues, the two universities have pooled their outstanding educational resources in order to develop a curriculum that the universities individually would not have been able to formulate. Under this new curriculum, teaching staff of Hokkaido University instruct students in some subjects at Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and vice versa. This program also allows students of both institutions to participate in seminars and practical training offered on a different campus and to participate in interactive remote classes using IT.
We firmly believe these educational reforms play a vital role in fostering veterinarians and researchers who not only gain an in-depth understanding of diverse social demands for veterinary medicine, but also develop scientific thinking and judgement, an international perspective, creativity and rich humanity.