Training in Public Health

A recent survey of education in public health in 27 (of the 28) U.S. veterinary schools found that the curricula of all 27 required at least one course in public health; when epidemiology was included, the contact hours assigned to these subjects ranged from 30 to 120 (mean of 67). Only four schools, however, have required clinical rotations in public health (Riddle et al., 2004). Twenty-four of the 27 schools offer from one to six elective courses varying from a total of 15 to 288 hours. Eight schools offer elective clinical rotations of 3–4 weeks in length. Twenty-three schools offer some form of advanced training in public health or epidemiology, four offering a dual DVM/Masters of Public Health program. Fifteen schools offer or are about to offer some form of DVM program combined with an advanced degree related to public health. Statistics describing first-year employment of new graduates (Table 2-3) indicate that few, if any, opt for careers in public health or have the opportunity without further education. Leaders in veterinary education have called for the profession and its educational establishment to give much more attention to meeting societal needs in this field (Hoblet et al., 2003).

TABLE 2-3 First-Year Employment, 2004 Veterinary Graduates in Various Fields

 

Percent

Private Clinical Practice

68.2

Large animal exclusive

2.5

Large animal predominant

2.8

Mixed animal

9.0

Small animal exclusive

40.4

Small animal predominant

10.0

Equid

3.4

Public or Corporate Employment

1.9

College/university

0.1

Uniformed services

1.2

Federal government

0.1

State/local government

0.1

Industry/commercial

0.1

Not-for-profit

0.2

Other

0.6

Unknown

3.7

Advanced study programs

25.7

SOURCE: AVMA, 2004b



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