One Health career paths

What is Public Health/One Health?
Current Events/Meetings
One Health Externship Opportunities
SAVMA's One Health Grand Challenge Information

Career opportunities are limitless for qualified Veterinarians interested in Public Health & One Health, and while this is not an exhaustive list of all of them, we hope this may act as a resource for you as you look at different career paths. Categories of Veterinarians working in Public Health include Federal, Military, State, Academia, and Research. Some veterinary schools offer core and elective courses to be taken which mainly focus on zoonotic disease and client education. In addition, there are several externship opportunities for students interested in Veterinary Public Health. Some dual degree programs across the country include MPH, MPVM, and MS/PhD.


National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research, and receives millions of dollars in research funds each year. As a veterinarian working for NIH, you would be involved in helping to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability from very rare diseases and disorders to the common cold.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Veterinarians employed by the CDC are involved in various roles, including detecting and investigating health problems, conducting research to enhance prevention, developing and advocating sound public health policies, and fostering safe and healthful environments.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Veterinarians employed by the FDA work to ensure food (except meat and poultry) is safe, wholesome, and sanitary for consumption, and work to ensure drugs are safe, labeled properly, and that manufacturing standards are being met. In addition, veterinarians may be involved with veterinary products (including pet food, drugs, and devices), medical devices, human biologics, cosmetics, and radiation electronics.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Veterinarians employed by the USDA provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues. Veterinarians may work to develop alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, support international economic development, and overall enhance food safety from farm to table. Veterinarians employed by the USDA will work in one of the following sectors: Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), Animal Research Services (ARS), or Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which includes the following three divisions: Veterinary Services (VS), Wildlife Services (WS), and Animal Care (AC). Descriptions of the different organizations and responsibilities of the veterinarian’s role in each of these departments can be found on their respective websites.


Veterinarians working in the military monitor disease trends, implement preventative medicine, ensure infectious disease control, direct food programs, manage contamination control programs, and practice food safety and sanitation.


State public health veterinarian (SPHV)
State public health veterinarians (SPHV) work for state health departments and typically are involved in zoonotic disease control and prevention. Specific fields in which these veterinarians work include epidemiology, environmental safety, toxicology, food safety, and zoonotic disease.

"State public health veterinarians are the local and state professionals who regularly consult with physicians, emergency rooms, legislators, local officials, schools, health departments, and the general public on preventing exposures to and controlling diseases that humans can get from animals and animal products. Many SPHVs are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have singular authority in the state on rabies exposures. No list of local or state officials can be considered complete without the SPHV and local public health veterinarians."

State veterinarian
State Veterinarians work for the state departments of agriculture working to protect livestock and the livestock industry as well as of consumers by enforcing rules and regulations governing eradication and control of livestock and poultry diseases. State Veterinarians may also license and inspect pet feed and rendering plants to ensure the safety of finished products.​