The Maryland Veterinarian                                                                                              MVMA Logo

  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Spring 2012

Return to Newsletter Home

Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine Update
by Valerie Ragan, DVM, Director

We have been busy here at the CPCVM as we start the New Year, continuing to modify, update, and stretch. We are teaching the first iteration of the newly created Problem Solving in Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine course at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, engaging students in using analytical tools to identify issues, stakeholders and solution sets for complex problems such as Foot and Mouth Disease response. This course has had enormous positive response from our students and will help prepare them to understand the political, social, technological, economic, environmental and legal aspects of public policy.

Interest continues to grow in career transitioning, primarily from those wishing to transition from private practice into another area of veterinary medicine. As a result of increasing demand, Drs. Gary Vroegindewey and Stephen Sundlof and I presented Career Transition lectures at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, continuing the series that was initiated in College Park, Maryland in 2011. Since September of 2011 we have provided career transitioning seminars and counseling to more than 150 veterinarians from several states. Interest in the topic is still high so we are planning an additional career transition workshop at the CPCVM in mid-September of 2012. If you are interested in attending, please drop us a note ( or and we will notify you when plans are finalized.

CPCVM once again hosted students from the University of Maryland Pre-Veterinary Society for the third annual orientation visit to VMRCVM at the end of March. Pre-veterinary students from Maryland received a "behind-the-scenes" tour of the veterinary college; met with the Dean; were provided an admissions counseling seminar; were allowed to sit in on a veterinary school class; and had a "meet and greet informal dinner" with current Maryland students at VMRCVM—all to highlight the opportunities for Maryland students to attend our regional veterinary college.

The Career Advisor program has been formalized, with over 40 veterinarians volunteering to advise students on a wide range of career fields such as laboratory animal medicine, pathology, zoo animal medicine, laboratory sciences, public health, military medicine, public and private sector careers, international veterinary medicine, and others. Many of the advisors will be available to speak with graduate veterinarians who are considering career changes and would like to explore different fields.

We continue to build on our partnerships with the United States Animal Health Association and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. Veterinary students in the Northeast area (including VMRCVM) are being provided an opportunity for experiential learning with paid registration and travel stipends to the Northeast USAHA annual meeting in June. In addition, we have just learned that the organizations will again provide travel stipends for up to eight veterinary students to attend the annual USAHA/AALVD meeting this fall. Last year we coordinated and escorted 12 veterinary students to the meeting from six different veterinary schools. We arranged for a veterinary student orientation luncheon that the executive boards of both organizations attended. It was clear from a follow-up survey that the opportunity to participate with these major national animal health organizations was significant to the students. One of the comments received on the survey was "This trip very likely changed my life. I'm actively seeking more opportunities to see veterinary work in the public sphere, and will likely pursue a career in public practice after graduation. This trip really clinched it for me – it got me excited, and genuinely, about the possibilities of this profession." This is exactly why we do these things.

We also continue to build our collaborative activities with other agencies and veterinary colleges in the public and corporate arena. For example, Dr. Vroegindewey lectured at Mississippi State University and Tufts University on Global Health Opportunities. In addition he traveled to Michigan State University to serve as an advisor to the Master of Science, Food Safety Program. I traveled to Uruguay to assist with the advancement of the Uruguayan Brucellosis Eradication Program at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, and to Armenia three times in 2011 to work with USDA, Foreign Agriculture Service on developing veterinary capacity in that country.

Dr. Sundlof and Dr. Vroegindewey participated in a workshop on food safety biosurveillance held in October at Michigan State University. The purpose of the workshop was to develop faster methods of detecting foodborne disease outbreaks using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Each year 48 million Americans get sick; 128,000 are hospitalized; and 3,000 die from foodborne illness. The current system for identifying outbreaks is highly labor-, and more importantly, time-intensive, requiring on average of 5-28 days to identify a case as part of an outbreak. Early detection of foodborne illness outbreaks will substantially reduce casualties and their associated costs due to medical expenses, lost productivity, and damage to the food industry from loss of consumer confidence. The emergence and global adoption of social networks holds promise as a tool for early signal detection.

Finally, we are very pleased to have awarded the first Mitchell A. Essey Veterinary Public Practice Scholarship to Ms. Catherine Wedd, a dual Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in the Public and Corporate track and Master of Public Health student, who also holds a degree in nursing. Dr. Essey was a long time veterinarian with USDA that had a distinguished career working in tuberculosis and epidemiology. On a personal note, he helped me tremendously when I was a new veterinarian in USDA, and was one of those patient, supportive, experienced veterinarians we all want to work with when we first start out in the profession. We are honored and privileged to be able to award a scholarship that is both a tribute to Dr. Essey and a continuation of his lifelong commitment to public health and the development and mentoring of veterinarians.

Share This Article

Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn

Click on the icons above to share this article with your social networks.

Important Links from this article

Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

American Veterinary Medical Association


© 2013 Maryland Veterinary Medical Association

PO Box 5407 • Annapolis, MD 21403 • (410) 268-1311 • fax (410) 268-1322