Integrating the issues of global and public health into the veterinary education curriculum: a European perspective
Veterinary public health is an essential field in public health activities, based upon veterinary skills, knowledge and resources and which aims to protect and improve human health and welfare. This discipline has evolved through three stages, beginning with the fight against animal diseases, moving on to include meat inspection and control of zoonoses and now encompassing a much broader health sciences education, with the goal of guaranteeing a safe and wholesome food supply, protecting human wellbeing and conserving the environment. Within the veterinary medicine curriculum, veterinary public health has undergone a similar development. At first, it was mainly concerned with slaughterhouse-based courses but in time it included the teaching of such subjects as epidemiology, the control of communicable (zoonotic) diseases and emergency preparedness. Veterinary medical faculties in Europe have adjusted their curricula over the past few years to reflect these changes in the subject and to meet the need for specialisation. It could be said that veterinary public health education has literally moved from the local abattoir to the global community. In this paper, the authors briefly discuss examples of veterinary medicine curricula at different universities. The veterinary public health curriculum of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht, is then discussed in detail, as an example of the European perspective on integrating global and public health issues into the veterinary curriculum.
Curriculum – Curriculum development – Education – Europe – One World, One Health – Public health – Veterinary public health.