For the first time, veterinarians pursuing careers in international animal health can earn a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine while serving in the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps Master's International Program combines specialized training in priority subjects with field service: complementary missions advancing Peace Corps recruitment, university missions -- and student goals.
The Memorandum of Cooperation signed October 3 by UC Davis and Peace Corps officials covers four agriculture-related master's degrees designed to end hunger and help developing countries build economies based on sustainable agriculture. Speaking at the ceremony, Charles R. Baquet III, deputy director of the Peace Corps, stated that students would receive educational enrichment and an opportunity to make "outstanding contributions to sustainable agriculture and world peace."
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine offers the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree, the only Master's International offered by the Peace Corps that incorporates graduate veterinary education.
The degree involves roughly one year of training in public health issues, herd health, epidemiology, statistics and information management. After courses are completed, the student conducts an animal health project during a two-year Peace Corps assignment. The student then returns to school for a final quarter to complete the program and a thesis based on the field research.
Officials are accepting applications for entrance into the program in August, 2001.
At the signing, David Hird, professor of epidemiology and director of the Office of International Programs, a veterinary student exchange program, remarked, "This opportunity will be the capstone for the veterinarian interested in a career in international veterinary medicine." Hird described the broad global outlook of today's veterinary students -- more than 20% of the Class of 2000's 109 graduates took advantage of international experiences during their four years of veterinary school.
Since its inception in 1966, the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine program has conducted postgraduate training for 750 graduates who have gone on to top-level governmental, private industry, academic and practice careers in preventive veterinary medicine throughout the United States and 74 other countries.
David W. Hird