However, the current training programs and certifying examinations for residents emphasize clinical procedures rather than the research experience needed to train individuals for academic positions. Research training is an essential foundation skill for faculty to conduct investigations that advance scientific knowledge, develop the major breakthroughs required to address animal health, and study animal models for human disease needs. In addition to academe, credible research training of residents also builds the expertise that private industry and the public sector are clamoring for in job candidates, as described in other chapters of this report.
Moreover, for large animal specialties, there is a need for specialists who are familiar with contemporary livestock practices, nutrition, genetics and animal welfare, as well as an understanding of the economics of the industry, how to assess retail needs, and the biosecurity, food safety, and disaster response issues associated with large populations of animals. In the future, veterinarians need to be familiar with policy issues relating to water and air quality, environmental management of waste, and the impacts of production units on feed and food crops. These subjects must be addressed if veterinary medicine is to remain relevant to producers in the livestock and poultry industries.
Specialty Training is Not Publicly Supported
A major conflict facing the veterinary colleges is that, in spite of the demand, most do not have the funding required to meet the needs for advanced specialty training. On the one hand, veterinary colleges are the most logical place for obtaining specialty training. The academic environment has the diverse caseload and expertise in many core disciplines such as pathology, clinical pathology, imaging, microbiology, cell biology, immunology and epidemiology,