Colleges launch global veterinary programs

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Veracruz, Mexico-This fall, eight U.S. freshmen entering veterinary medicine programs will start their semesters mixing Mexican culture with leadership training on the international veterinary circuit.

Veracruz, Mexico-This fall, eight U.S. freshmen entering veterinarymedicine programs will start their semesters mixing Mexican culture withleadership training on the international veterinary circuit.

Seven veterinary medical students enrolled at Texas A&M University,College of Veterinary Medicine (Texas A&M) and one from the Universityof Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine (UG) will learn what makes leadersin veterinary medicine.

The trip is a first step for participants of the Global Veterinary LeadershipProgram (GVLP)-a newly created certificate program designed to prepare studentsfor a career in the worldwide veterinary profession and to educate themon infectious diseases of international importance.

The GVLP is the first of its kind, designed to select students on four-or five-year programs to equip them for roles as public health protectorsand for success in the international veterinary market, project coordinatorDr. Gale Wagner says.

"We are trying to create veterinary leaders who understand the globaltechnological market," Wagner says. "Free trade in food animalsand products have increased the movement of diseases like foot and mouth,either intentionally or accidentally, and veterinarians are the first tointercept those cases."

GVLP students explore foreign animal diseases, emerging disease, riskassessment, and leadership roles. After completing the week-long programin Mexico and a year of veterinary school, students plan coursework to complete12 to 18 hours of electives in foreign language and study, combining someof those elective hours with veterinary medical classes in their fourthyear.

While Wagner is rooted at Texas A&M in the veterinary college's pathobiologydepartment, he says the GVLP has no home base. Any student entering a U.S.accredited college of veterinary medicine can apply to join the program.

Read the full story by Associate Editor Jennifer Fiala in the Augustissue of DVM Newsmagazine. More information can also be found at http://www.vet.uga.edu/vpp/nsep.

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