Encouraging use of model public health curriculum
In the coming months, the AVMA will send letters to deans of veterinary colleges and schools encouraging the use of a model public health and preventive medicine curriculum. Letters will also be sent to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, student chapters of the AVMA, and the Student AVMA.
The American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine designed the model curriculum after recognizing the need to establish a baseline standard for public health/preventive medicine education in U.S. veterinary schools and colleges. The model curriculum is intended to serve as a planning guide for curriculum committees.
Some Executive Board members expressed concern that encouraging the curriculum could result in other individuals requesting that their underserved discipline area receive support. "We do not need to get into the business of recommending curriculum; that's the faculty's responsibility," said Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, AVMA president-elect.
Others, including the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine in the recommendation, stated that the action was consistent with a 1997 AVMA resolution. It charged the AVMA with urging veterinary colleges to develop or enhance basic public health and food safety education in their professional curriculum. The council also noted that supporting the curriculum was consistent with recent recommendations from the AAVMC-sponsored conference, An Agenda for Action: The Role of Veterinary Medicine in Biodefense and Public Health, and the AAVMC task force on Emergency Needs in Veterinary Human Resources.
In the end, the recommendation passed. Schools will be encouraged to implement the whole model or parts of the curriculum, as deemed appropriate.