Eight UC Davis veterinary students and two faculty mentors, Drs. Beatrice Martinez-Lopez and Janet Foley, joined hundreds of veterinary students and faculty from across the country at CDC Veterinary Student Day on January 13 and 14. The biannual conference focuses on the critical role veterinary medicine plays in global public health and encourages student interest in veterinary public practice careers.
This year’s event focused on the theme “League of Extraordinary Veterinarians” and took place in Atlanta, Georgia at CDC Headquarters. Speakers from CDC and other organizations provided their perspectives on the following topics:
- Emerging zoonotic and infectious diseases
- Global health: challenges and strategies
- One Health: protecting human and animal health
- Migration and health
- Environmental health
- Career and training opportunities
- Epidemiology in action
While the seminar is provided free of charge, travel support was provided by the dean’s office to three Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) students and five DVM students.
“I am profoundly grateful that our Dean's Office sees the value in sending eight students and two faculty to CDC, and that CDC is on the forefront of promoting how truly amazing One Heath veterinarians are!” said Foley, who directs the MPVM program. “This CDC Vet Student Day is an important validation of our role and a key opportunity for our students.”
Students had the opportunity to network, making valuable contacts with veterinarians already working at the CDC. One of the highlights for the team was hearing the different career and education paths that veterinarians in public health careers had taken to get to their current positions and the variety of career opportunities—from laboratory work to outbreak response.
“I’m very excited to have learned about all the possibilities that are open to veterinarians in public health,” said MPVM student Katy Siquig. “The CDC as a whole made us feel very welcome and valued. I’m leaving with a renewed understanding of what options there are outside of clinical medicine and I’m excited for the next step.”