One Health is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain sustainable optimal health for the ecosystem*. It is a cultural and behavioral concept with socioeconomic elements and impact.
*a biological community of living organisms (humans, animals, plants, and microbes) and their physical environment interacting as a system
Twelve veterinary medical students and two faculty members from the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) represented Texas A&M University at the Sixth Biennial Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Veterinary Student Day, held Jan. 22–23, 2017, at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Veterinary students Laura Hurst ’18, Sam McDonald ’19, Chris Beck ’19, Michelle Kurkowski’18, Mikaela Stanislav ’19, Luke Tomaso ’20, Branden Nettles ’19, Emily Crews ’20, Clare Brooks ’18, Chandani Bhakta ’18, Cara Finstad ’18, and Chloe Goodwin ’18, accompanied by faculty mentors Dr. Glennon Mays and Dr. Christine Budke, joined over 400 veterinary students and faculty from across North America to learn more about the impact of veterinary medicine on public health.
“CDC Veterinary Students Day is a wonderful opportunity to introduce veterinary students to the important contributions that veterinarians make to public health,” Budke said. “This event allows participating students to hear first-hand about the work that veterinarians perform at the CDC and other U.S. and international agencies.”
This year’s event, “The Secret Life of Pets and Vets,” featured speakers from the CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Topics included emerging zoonotic and infectious diseases; epidemiology; global health challenges, strategies, migration, and health; and environmental health. In addition to educational opportunities, this event highlighted career opportunities within the federal government that are available to veterinarians.
“It was valuable to meet with other veterinary students from around the country who are also interested in public health,” Tomaso said. “Most of my peers realize that our profession has a profound impact on animal health, but many don’t realize that impact extends to human and environmental health.”
The CVM Professional Programs Office and the Texas A&M One Health Initiative provided travel funding for the Texas A&M students.