Courtesy Shane Bosomworth.
June 7, 2021
Class of 2021: Vet med grad returns to rural Alberta to pursue his calling
Dr. Shane Bosomworth, DVM, grew up on his family’s farm just outside of Carstairs, Alta. Surrounded by animals, he developed a keen interest in animals, farming, and medicine.
“I wasn’t like a lot of people in my class who grew up knowing they wanted to be a vet, but growing up on a farm and with all my summer jobs being on farms I was always around animals,” says Bosomworth. “It wasn’t until I took a summer job at a cattle farm that I got involved in the medicine side of things; doctoring calves.”
He always loved medicine, but it wasn’t until the second year of his undergrad that he decided the best way to marry his two passions — medicine and farming — was to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Soon after that, he applied to the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s (UCVM) Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, and the rest, as they say, is history.
DVM program expands his opportunities and interests
“At first, I thought I was only going to do large animal medicine,” he says. “And growing up on a farm with mainly beef cattle, I thought I’d just do beef and equine work.”
But Dr. Gordon Atkins, DVM, a professor of production animal health at UCVM, opened Bosomworth's eyes to other opportunities.
He’s a legend in the dairy industry and he pushed me a bit more in that direction. I fell in love with treating dairy cattle all year round, rather than the high-volume seasonal work you get with beef cattle.
While he still plans on working with beef cattle, Bosomworth says he enjoys that the dairy side gives him more face-to-face time with owners and gets him a bit more involved in the operational side of things.
He also got to try his hand at small animal medicine and discovered he enjoyed that as well — the incredible instructors on that side, especially Dr. Terri Schiller, DVM, associate professor of small animal surgery, helped develop his interest in small animal surgery. The experiences he had with both large and small animal medicine led him to start out in mixed animal practice.
He has taken a position at Didsbury Veterinary Services, where he gets to try his hand at all of it. The clinic is also not far from his family’s farm, which allows him to be able to help with the animals there when he’s not working.
Vet school was the best school
Bosomworth says of all the schooling he has done, he enjoyed his time at UCVM the most. “It’s such a team mentality when you’re going through everything together.” His favourite part was his final year working in UCVM’s Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC).
“It was incredible, to go out and work with your colleagues at all these different clinics and gain hands-on experience from tons of other vets,” he says. “You learn valuable tips and tricks from them, while also providing them with new information you learned in school.”
Bosomworth says he feels for his classmates in lower years, especially those in first year, who had to start their veterinary schooling online and in smaller groups due to the pandemic.
“They haven’t met that close peer group yet that really helps get you through, and it’s hard for the professors, too. I’m a bit sad I won’t be able to say goodbye to everyone in person before we all go our separate ways.”
While he feels lucky to have spent the past year working all over the province in the DVLC, the longer six-week rotations (up from the usual two to four weeks) in place to allow students to isolate for two weeks between rotations, made him realize how much he missed his family’s farm.
“My goal is to be a large animal vet and also farm part-time; build up my own herd.”