Written by guest blogger, Elizabeth A. Stone.

Class of 1950 stained glass window, Ontario Veterinary College

‘‘Abandon the unrealistic concept of the universal veterinarian who can minister to the health needs of all creatures great and small.”

Dean William Pritchard, 19891

Each of the three major planning initiatives undertaken by the veterinary profession in the last 30 years has included a version of this recommendation. During this time, veterinary schools have begun to embrace this perspective as shown by a survey of deans, previous deans and academic associate deans of accredited veterinary schools. Seventy-one percent of the survey participants agreed that “at our school, tracking (e.g., emphasis areas, focus areas, streaming) where students focus on a class of animals or a discipline area begins in either year one (2.6%), year two (15%), year three (35%), year four (39%) or year five (6%).”2

Veterinary school leaders want to ensure that their students achieve entry level competencies by the time they graduate, which is a Herculean challenge even for one class of animals or discipline area and most likely impossible for “all creatures great and small”. The visionary, Dean Pritchard, recognized this conundrum in the 1970’s and worked to implement the first tracking curriculum at UC Davis.  Since that time the knowledge explosion and emerging new disciplines within veterinary medicine and biomedical science as a whole have made the possibility of educating  ‘the universal veterinarian’ even more remote.

One argument against tracking has gradually lost its validity, i.e., that tracking decreases the ability of graduates ‘to change careers in the future’. Given the rapid pace of discovery, we are fooling ourselves if we think that the facts and procedures we currently teach our students, whether they track or not, will prepare them for a major career change 5-10 years from now. Instead, we can focus on helping them learn how to learn, to solve problems, and to develop their own career goals and plans to achieve those goals now and in the future.

If as a profession we can move beyond the arguments about whether or not tracking is a good idea (since most schools are already doing it), we can make more progress figuring out how to ensure that all veterinarians, no matter what their focus, master the essential ‘veterinarian competencies”. What might these be? My starting list would include the following: Be able to 1] provide informed opinions and discuss with the general public such topics as modern food production; key welfare issues; responsible use of antibiotics; importance of translational biomedical research; 2] effectively collaborate with public health and medical professionals within their communities; 3] work in a team environment as an employee, colleague and leader; and 4] monitor and sustain one’s own self-awareness, personal health and well-being.

What would be on your list?

Then the next question is: how do we incorporate these and other critical learning areas into the curriculum so that all students become competent and successful veterinarians?


1 Pritchard WR. Future directions for veterinary medicine. Durham, NC: Pew National Veterinary Education Program, Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, Duke University; 1989.

2 Stone EA, Reimann J, Greenhill LM, Dewey CE. Milestone Educational Planning Initiatives in Veterinary Medical Education: Progress and Pitfalls. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 2018;45(3):388-404.

Elizabeth A. Stone, DVM, MS, MPP, DACVS, is the previous Dean and a Professor in the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Canada, and an Emeritus Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607 USA. Her research interests include leadership development, educational innovation, and the role of veterinarians in society. Her article “Milestone Educational Planning Initiatives in Veterinary Medical Education: Progress and Pitfalls” is free to read for a limited time: http://bit.ly/jvme453k

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Written by guest blogger, Daniel McKay.

Still from Full Metal Jacket, see details in text

Take a look at the picture above, a portrayal of South Vietnam in 1968.  It’s a still from Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket (1987), in which a Vietnamese prostitute (played by British-Chinese actress Papillon Soo Soo) solicits the U.S. Marines Joker (played by the American actor Matthew Modine) and Rafterman (played by the Canadian actor Kevyn Major Howard).  How problematic is this image?  Let me count the ways.  As a derivative of casting decisions that collapse the difference between Asians living in Asian countries and, say, British-Born Chinese?  Check.  As a portrayal of relations between overseas servicemen and local women that reduces the latter to sex objects?  Check.  As an example of a racialised ‘gaze’ that sees ‘Asian’ women as hypersexual?  Check.  The list goes on.  As against that, however, there remains the disquieting fact that the war in Vietnam did bring servicemen and prostitutes together in large numbers.  So is the image historically inaccurate?  Alas, no.  By the end of the war, the issues, so to speak, were readily apparent.  South Vietnam had so many children of mixed-race parentage that evacuating them became part of a military operation in itself.

Fast-forward to the Iraq War and no similar operation has been necessary.  On the contrary, the presumption among many civilians is that U.S.-led coalition forces brought about or inhabited a culture that denied them sexual encounters with local women.  Iraqis would not ‘love them long time.’  Furthermore, women of East or Southeast Asian descent are no longer expected, by that fact alone, to be foreign rather than domestic.  Take the following advertisement, for example, which was commissioned by Apple Inc. during the Iraq War:

After watching this a good few times, I decided that there was more going on here than schmaltzy marketing.  While it would be presuming too much to assume that images such as Stanley Kubrick’s are no longer being produced in dominant entertainment media, a shift, at least, appears to have taken place.  This led me to enquire into the ways in which today’s writers of Iraq War literature have rethought the old stereotypes of East and Southeast Asian women.  Of course, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan are located in those regions, but that’s precisely the point.  Might the most recent wars have provided an occasion to rethink the cultural legacies of older ones?

Assuming that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were interruptions in the social and sexual norms that American servicemen had come to expect, I’m interested in how fiction writers, in turn, have seized the opportunity to break free of those norms when it comes to the craft of storytelling.  My chosen sources, Phil Klay’s short Story “In Vietnam they had Whores” (2014) and Atticus Lish’s novel Preparation for the Next Life (2015) come from two of the best-known Iraq War writers today.  Both are U.S. Marine Corps veterans and both feature increasingly in discussions of the new canon of writing that is emerging on the Iraq War and its associated episodes.


Daniel McKay is an Associate Professor at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. His article “Pivot to Asia: Iraq War Literature and Asian/American Women” can be found in the latest issue of University of Toronto Quarterly. Read it online here (open access for a limited time).

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June 21, 2018 National Indigenous Peoples Day UTP Logo and journal covers, #NIPDCanada #FirstNations #Inuit #Metis

On June 21st, we’re joining our fellow Canadians to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD), a day to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

Our journals are filled with thoughtful articles on everything from Indigenous history to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, from language revitalization to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. This week, we’re opening and featuring a selected reading list from our collection—and we’re especially thrilled to show off an article by Meghan Longstaffe, recent winner of the Hilda Neatby Prize! Her article in the Canadian Historical Review, Indigenous Women as Newspaper Representations: Violence and Actions in 1960s Vancouver,” won best article in English.

Want to learn more? This NIPD, here’s what else is grabbing our attention:

In “A Long Road Behind Us, a Long Road Ahead: Towards an Indigenous Feminist National Inquiry,” from the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Cherry Smiley looks at the consequences of dehumanizing constructions of Indigenous women and girls, calling for an expressly feminist framework in order to address the issue of male violence.

Allan Downey and Susan Neylan tackle “Indian Sports Days,” drawing attention to how Indigenous communities have used sports organizations to challenge, resist, and even displace colonial agendas. “Raven Plays Ball: Situation ‘Indian Sports Days’ within Indigenous and Colonial Spaces in Twentieth-Century Coastal British Columbia” is one of the Canadian Journal of History’s most downloaded articles.

In “The Thing About Obomsawin’s Indianness: Indigenous Reality and the Burden of Education at the National Film Board of Canada,” from the Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Bruno Cornellier explores how, for First Nations peoples, the relationship between education and media images is incredibly complex.

What role does the news media play in delegitimizing Indigenous political advocacy and perpetuating fears relating to social disorder and violence in Canada? In “‘Smudging, drumming and the like do not a nation make’: Temporal Liminality and Delegitimization of Indigenous Protest in Canada,” from the Journal of Canadian Studies, Richard G. Baker and Nadia Verrelli explore the threat that Indigenous protest poses to Canada’s national identity.

In the Canadian Theatre Review’s “Experiencing Indigenous Work—Developing Critical Voices: Three Views,” Cole Alvis, Carol Greyeyes, and Brittany Johnston discuss the future of Indigenous critical practice, performance in the context of reconciliation, and challenges to the development of Indigenous criticism in Canada.

By what process did the British Imperial Crown and later the Dominion government become the sovereign of Canada’s Indigenous populations? The University of Toronto Law Journal’s Douglas Sanderson examines how the doctrine of tenure has been used to displace Indigenous property rights and undermine assertions of sovereignty in “The Residue of Imperium: Property and Sovereignty on Indigenous Lands.”

How can we help meet the language development needs of Canada’s young Indigenous children? Published in the Canadian Modern Language Review, Jessica Ball attempts to fill the knowledge gap in “Supporting Young Indigenous Children’s Language Development in Canada: A Review of Research on Needs and Promising Practices.”

To find National Indigenous Peoples Day events near you, and to learn more about community-driven projects, Indigenous history in Canada, and how the Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples, please visit: www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca

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Written by guest blogger, Ellen Kaye Gehrke.

Happy Trails, photo of a man petting a horse

Although we just had our paper published in the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, it really does not address the deepest issues around PTSD and what horses can do to instigate and sustain healing from trauma. We did capture some great quantitative information and demonstrated that the health of the Veterans substantially improved with exposure and connection to horses. We also were happy to discover the significance when we measured their positive affect as to how much more confident they were feeling about themselves. Those of us who regularly work with horses and have a philosophy of horse as partner already knew what we had to prove with evidence. The true benefit was witnessing the transformation of the Veterans as they safely, and in their own way, stripped away layer upon layer of pain, suffering, isolation, self-doubt, disconnection and silent suffering and were comforted and reinforced by their heart connection with their horses. The program was not just about riding- it was about feeling whole again with the help of horses and a genuinely caring group of wranglers, instructors, fellow veterans, and, of course, some amazing open hearted horses.

We are writing another article that includes the qualitative results. Veterans kept a weekly journal answering specific questions about the topic of discovering and healing each week and wrote their thoughts, reflections and insights. These provided far more power to our research and allow us to dive deeper into how horses really do give the support and confidence for the journey back from some dark places Veterans go who are suffering from PTSD and TBI.

One particular quote from a Veteran who had been contemplating suicide gave us the goose bumps when they wrote: “I look forward each week to being with (name of horse) than to being in heaven.”

Stay tuned. We will be glad to answer any questions about the program and the results to the readers. Meanwhile we recommend Horse Pills over other medications for relief of PTSD.

Happy Trails,
Dr. Ellen Kaye Gehrke

Ellen Kaye Gehrke, PhD, is the program director of the Masters of Science in Complementary and Integrative Health, and is a Professor of Health Sciences in the School of Health and Human Services, National University, San Diego, California. Her article “Measuring the psychophysiological changes in combat Veterans participating in an equine therapy program” can be found in the latest issue of the completely open access Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health. Read it online here.

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Now available! Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA)

University of Toronto Press Journals is pleased to announce that Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA) is now available for all UTPJ subscribers.

We’ve launched a new partnership with Google Scholar, which allows users who are off-campus to access UTP Journals Online as though they were still connected to their university network. Students and researchers will now be able to access our great content and continue their research wherever they are.  It’s easy: when users are connected to their university network, CASA will automatically be enabled. Once they leave campus, they’ll be able to pick right up where they left off.

Anurag Acharya, co-creator of Google Scholar, says of the initiative: “CASA builds on Google Scholar’s Subscriber Links program which provides direct links in the search interface to subscribed collections for on-campus users. With CASA, a researcher can start a literature survey on campus and resume where she left off once she is home, or travelling, with no hoops to jump through. Her subscribed collections are highlighted in Google Scholar searches and she is able to access articles in exactly the same way as on campus.”

Authorized library users need only to reconnect to their university network every 30 days in order to maintain this service. Simply and seamlessly use Google Scholar and UTP Journals whether you’re on campus, working from home, or scrolling through on your mobile device!

Start your search today.

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World Environment Day: June 5th, 2018

June 4, 2018

Celebrated in over 100 countries since its beginning in 1974, the UN’s World Environment Day (WED) has developed into a global platform for encouraging awareness, action and, of course, learning. This year’s timely theme pledges to show the many ways that we can help beat plastic pollution. Over the years, journals from across our collection […]

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Moving to Online Publication: Canadian Journal of History / Annales canadiennes d’histoire

May 28, 2018

For over fifty years, the CJH / ACH has produced first-class historical scholarship that reaches a wide audience. That audience is increasingly accessing our content wholly through digital platforms. Last year alone, 10,000 readers downloaded articles and book reviews. In response to this reality, and to rapid changes in academic publishing, our Editorial Board has […]

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Making of a Monster (Studies Article)

May 24, 2018

Written by guest blogger, Christopher McGunnigle. Image courtesy of Marvel. Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, even Thor: a secret behind these household superheroes is that, once upon a time, they were all monsters. The Marvel superhero, ever the outsider filled with doubt and heroic flaws, was built from the mold of an […]

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Julia Pyryeskina: Historical Junctures & Gaps in the Archives

May 22, 2018

Written by guest blogger, Julia Pyryeskina. Photo Credit: Giselle Gos My field of study is contemporary activist history, with a focus on the Canadian gay and lesbian liberation. I am now starting to look at trans organizing in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s. In Becki L. Ross’s words, the winter of 1977-78 was a […]

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The New Frontiers of Flesh Food

May 14, 2018

Written by guest blogger, Angela Lee. Science and technology have indisputably allowed humans to live healthier and wealthier than ever before. However, there is also a dark underside to this unprecedented prosperity. The unforeseen, unintended, and often unwelcome consequences of scientific and technological interventions are often overlooked in the enthusiasm about both their actual accomplishments […]

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