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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                    Summer 2010

News from the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

by Valerie E. Ragan, DVM, Director

Greetings from the College Park campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM). It has been an exciting and busy spring for us as we have wrapped up our center assessment activities and are moving into implementing some new things.

First, however, I would like to congratulate Dr. John Kable, on his induction as the new MVMA president, and would sincerely like to thank Dr. Jim Reed, immediate past-president for his leadership and support of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM) and our activities over the last year. It is been a real pleasure working with Dr.

Reed, and I feel we’ve built a solid partnership that we are looking forward to continuing under Dr. Kable’s leadership. Dr. Reed and Dr. Tom Armitage, MVMA vice president both served on our CPCVM advisory board over the last year and we’ve certainly appreciated their input and support as we’ve developed priorities and activities for the CPCVM and updated the public and corporate curriculum at VMRCVM.

I am also very pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Stephen Sundlof to our faculty on the College Park campus of VMRCVM. Dr. Sundlof stepped down as director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to accept a two-year assignment with the CPCVM. Prior to serving as director of CFSAN, he spent the previous 14 years as director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Under an agreement between the FDA and us, Dr. Sundlof will work with us to enhance the public and corporate veterinary medicine curriculum for veterinary students with a focus on food safety and security, and to develop career transition training for veterinarians interested in public veterinary practice. He is also working to develop a new training and development program in regulatory science designed for government employees, which will be done in partnership with the University of Minnesota and the Ohio State University.

The expectation of this collaborative effort is to provide a continuum of training in public practice from the veterinary school level through the mid-career level. Dr. Sundlof is a perfect example of the quality of faculty we hope to continue to attract to the CPCVM as we expand and develop into our vision of a world-class training center for veterinarians in the public practice sector of veterinary medicine. Hopefully many of you met Steve at the Ocean City summer session. Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the VMRCVM and a number of department heads from VMRCVM also attended the summer session to share updates from the college.

Speaking of the MVMA Ocean City summer session, we were pleased to host a special symposium entitled “Disasters and Disruptions: Peace of Mind for Practitioners”. Our goals were to engage leaders in veterinary public practice with Maryland practitioners and veterinary students, and to bridge the gap between public and private practice. We also wanted to bridge the gap between generations of veterinarians, so we invited a mix of seasoned speakers as well as younger speakers, including some who graduated in 2005, 2006, and 2009. We were quite pleased that several VMRCVM current public and corporate track students attended the symposium as well. We asked them to introduce themselves and tell us a bit about their areas of interest, so that those currently engaged in public practice can get to know our future colleagues. All in all, it was a fun and interesting symposium, and we appreciated the opportunity MVMA provided for us to participate.

Since our last update, we have also signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnositicians (AAVLD). The AAVLD is a not-for-profit professional organization consisting of more than 1,200 members from 35 different countries seeking to disseminate information relating to the diagnosis of animal diseases; coordinate diagnostic activities of regulatory, research and service laboratories; establish, improve, and develop new diagnostic techniques; establish accepted guidelines for the improvement of diagnostic laboratory organizations relative to personnel qualifications and facilities; and act as a consultant to the United States Animal Health Association on uniform diagnostic criteria involved in regulatory animal disease programs. Through this partnership, veterinary students with an interest in diagnostics and laboratory work will have a great opportunity to learn from AAVLD members. Many current students are interested in research and this is a good opportunity for them to gain knowledge and have access to those with expertise on the laboratory side of veterinary medicine. The CPCVM and AAVLD will work together to educate and mentor veterinary students interested in diagnostic medicine and research, while providing them networking and potential future employment opportunities.

We also plan to continue our “Meet the Faculty” seminar series in the fall, once the students return. We have been in touch with MVMA to solicit topics of interest, and have some tentative dates lined up. Once we confirm those dates and topics, we will let you know what they are, and they will be posted on our website as well.

Finally, on a personal note, I’d like to sincerely thank MVMA for inviting me to join the Board of Directors as Director-at-Large. I have sincerely appreciated our interactions and our partnership as I’ve grown into this position in College Park. This invitation signals to me that the best is yet to come. I am honored to have been asked, and I look forward to doing my part to ensure the College Park campus of the VMRCVM is visible and valuable to Maryland veterinarians and the profession of which we are so proud.

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