Iowa offers Master of Public Health program for veterinarians

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The University of Iowa, College of Public Health, a fully accredited School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine, is offering a distance-learning Master of Public Health (MPH) program for practicing veterinarians. Applications for the next cohort of students are due March 1, 2014 and courses will begin with an in-person 2-week summer session in Iowa City from June 1-13, 2014. The second summer session will be in Ames in late May or early June 2015. The rest of the time, courses are taken via the Internet.

The program is designed to take two full years to complete. As previous cohorts have proven, that in-person time together is so helpful to meet your instructors and build relationships with your colleagues. It is also an opportunity to meet with the librarian and become comfortable navigating article databases, utilizing reference managers, and learning about the latest resources for information literacy. This face-to-face time provides an opportunity to get to know the network of people you will take classes with, even though you may live thousands of miles apart.

"Course availability at-a-distance is critical for many veterinarians who are unable to leave their practice location for extended time periods," said Mary L. Aquilino, Ph.D., assistant dean and director of the UI Master of Public Health program. "The combination of summer on-campus institutes and Web-based instruction offers a practical blend of on-campus and distance-learning opportunities."

This program introduces students to the world of public health through core courses in health promotion, healthcare, and environmental health, providing veterinarians the knowledge required to successfully communicate with medical professionals across all disciplines. Electives hone knowledge of zoonotic diseases, applied epidemiology, emergency preparedness, informatics and more. The culmination project is a 200-contact hour practicum designed to build competency across disciplines. This training program has also aided in the successful completion of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM) board certification exam for graduates. Students are enrolled in the UI College of Public Health. Selected faculty from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine provide instruction as adjunct faculty of the UI. Veterinarians with public health degrees serve as academic advisors throughout the coursework.

Graduates of this program have gone on to become state public health veterinarians, state regulatory officials with boards of health and agriculture, Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officers through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, biosafety officers, emergency managers at the state level, serving in regulatory roles with federal agencies, working in outreach positions at major universities, and furthering their education with a PhD degree. "Veterinarians trained in public health bring a unique skill set and perspective to their employers. Job opportunities exist coast-to-coast and for those willing to relocate after graduation, exciting careers await!" said Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, DVM, MPH, PhD, DACVPM, associate director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health and at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.

For more information about the distance-learning fully-accredited MPH program, contact Lexie Just at 319-384-1539 in Iowa City (lexie-just@uiowa.edu), or Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle at 515-294-1492 in Ames (dbw@iastate.edu).

For more information about this 42-credit MPH degree, click here.



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