working in biomedical research. The program is a partnership with Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and includes 200 hours of academic coursework at Emory University. This is combined with 2,000 hours of hands-on experience in CDC's high-containment laboratory facilities as well as experience in infectious-disease research with a CDC mentor. Graduates of the program will be proficient in the daily treatment of laboratory animals, working in high-containment laboratories, designing scientific experiments and the use of animal models and administration of lab-animal medicine programs (CDC, 2008).
National Cancer Institute Support for Training in Pathology
To encourage the development of veterinarians in biomedical sciences, the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, have established graduate education partnerships with several colleges of veterinary medicine. The program includes a residency and PhD training support for those with a DVM in comparative pathology (NCI, 2010).
The Role of a Veterinary Education
Most government agencies assume that veterinarians with a DVM are educated in the basic sciences of epidemiology, food safety, public health, pathology, and food-animal production and population health. However, the committee found a general lack of understanding by members of the veterinary profession (and recent graduates) about the job availability and requirements for which veterinarians could qualify in the federal government. One reason is the predominance of clinical practitioners among veterinary school faculty members that made clinical instruction an increasing focus of most veterinary curricula. As a result, instruction in core disciplines, particularly those central to the expertise of public practice veterinarians, has decreased.
The foundational knowledge required by most of the VMO positions in the federal and state governments include the professional knowledge of veterinary medical concepts, principles, and practices concerned with the full range of animal health and disease, ante mortem and post mortem, and the basic sciences. This includes knowledge of basic production and husbandry practices, the use of animal drugs, biologics, and antibiotics relevant to food safety and public health, and practices for humane handling and slaughter. In addition, candidates need to be familiar with the pathology of various foreign and other diseases with public health and economic significance, and have an understanding of microbiology, parasitology, toxicology, physiology, chemistry, anatomy, epidemiology, and surveillance.