Veterinary medicine deals with health and disease in vertebrates at the level of individuals, populations, and ecosystems. At least six years of university education, four of them in a veterinary college, culminate in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. All veterinarians who enter practice must successfully complete a national examination. Licenses to practice are granted by the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA). Some veterinarians undertake postgraduate education, as interns, residents or graduate students, to become specialists or research scientists in fields such as surgery, internal medicine, pathology, and public health, or in a particular species or class of animal like horses, dairy cattle, poultry, or wildlife. This usually leads to a graduate degree or diploma in a specialty society. Veterinarians work in private practice, involving small animals, food animals and horses; in government employment dealing with domestic animal, wildlife or public health; in the pharmaceutical and biologicals industry; or at university and research institutions. The SVMA, largely self-regulating, is “dedicated to the protection of the public by ensuring the proficiency, competency, and ethical behaviour of its members,” and takes a strong interest in animal welfare. In 2004 the SVMA had approximately 550 members.