October 01, 2005


 Virginia-Maryland veterinary college offering public health degree

Posted Sept. 15, 2005

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Maryland-Baltimore in August announced the establishment of a collaborative program that will enable veterinary students and working veterinarians to earn a master's in public health from the university.

"This is a significant new partnership, both for our regional college of veterinary medicine and for Virginia Tech," said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the veterinary college. "In an age characterized by the threat of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases, we are going to see veterinary medicine and human medicine working more closely together than ever before to protect public health."

Announcement of the program came just weeks after the release of two major studies authored by the National Academies acknowledging the critical role veterinary medicine plays in public health. The studies outline the need for increased veterinary research and greater coordination between the animal and human health communities (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2005, ; Sept. 1, 2005).

The new Collaborative Program in Veterinary Public Health and Comparative Medicine will provide opportunities for professional education and training, develop critical research projects in veterinary public health and comparative medicine, and respond to national research initiatives on bioterrorism and emerging diseases, according to Dr. Schurig.

The program has been established in cooperation with the new School of Public Health at the University of Maryland-Baltimore.