In a simulation of food poisoning, veterinary students determine whether they are a case or a control by referring to the color change in test tubes. The students spent a day at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn about careers in public health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention welcomed 360 veterinary students and faculty members to the Atlanta campus in late January for the second CDC Veterinary Student Day.
Like the first event, in 2006, this year's seminar introduced veterinary students to the CDC mission of public health and epidemiology while encouraging them to consider public practice as a career choice.
The 2008 seminar featured a presentation by Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president, about taking the veterinarian's voice to Capitol Hill. He encouraged veterinary students to become active in the AVMA and Student AVMA, visit the Advocacy section of the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org, and consider externships and fellowships at the AVMA Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C.
The day also featured talks about outbreak investigations in which CDC veterinarians took the lead. A lunch session highlighted programs in public health with the CDC, Department of Agriculture, and Food and Drug Administration.
More than 50 CDC staff members helped simulate an outbreak of food poisoning from appetizers at the previous evening's reception. The exercise allowed students to examine how agencies cooperate to determine the cause of an outbreak. The highlight of the exercise was a tape of Julie L. Gerberding, MD, CDC director, in a mock press interview about the CDC's response to the situation.
Co-sponsors of the CDC Veterinary Student Day included the AVMA, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Department of Homeland Security, National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, and American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.