Epidemiology and Public Health
Veterinary epidemiologists study how diseases affect animal populations by looking at the demographics of a population and hypothesizing how a disease might be transmitted and what kind of impact it will have on the population of animals. Professionals in the public health profession address the problems of infections diseases transmissible from animals to humans, as well as food safety and food security, emergency response and preparedness, and animal health and biomedical research.
NC State Veterinary Medicine Epidemiology, Public Health and Population Medicine faculty and staff are dedicated to advancing the field and to teaching, research, and outreach programs that are responsive to the present and future needs of students, public health organizations, the veterinary profession, and scientific communities. We provide veterinary and postgraduate instruction.
Our faculty are involved in research in numerous areas of population health and public health, including risk assessment and food safety, animal biosecurity risk management, foreign animal diseases, West Nile Virus, microbial resistance in pathogens, zoonotic disease, aquatic health, and international trade. They also serve as consultants to state and federal regulatory agencies concerning agricultural bioterrorism and foreign animal diseases.
We serve the public through active extension and engagement programs that include ProMED Mail, an international source of daily updates of animal and zoonotic diseases published on the web, and the Wilson Bay Water Quality Initiative, an education program that raises veterinary awareness of foreign animal diseases.
Epidemiology, Public Health and Population Medicine faculty provides instruction in the professional veterinary and graduate curricula and are extensively involved the combined DVM and Master of Public Health Program with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration program. This Program is designed to provide graduate training for veterinarians interested in pursuing animal and public health service oriented careers with state, federal, and international agencies. Faculty also mentor and instruct students in the Epidemiology, Public Health, and Public Policy focus area. The first steps in pursuing a focus in Epidemiology, Public Health, and Population Medicine is to identify and register with a faculty mentor who can advise on opportunities in this area.
Careers in Epidemiology and Public Health
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the veterinary profession as a whole will grow at a particularly strong rate over the next 5 to 10 years, a much stronger rate of growth than the average for all professions and DVMs with a specialty in epidemiology and public health will be in particular demand. Professionals in this field have career options that can keep them in their home state or send them around the world.
- Regional epidemiology positions (require additional degree), animal health surveillance, regulatory compliance, outbreak investigation, disease control and eradication
- US Army Veterinary Corps
- US Air Force: Public Health Corps
- Enter as captain or equivalent; further training to Master’s level (MPH, MVPH) and specialty board will advance career
- Food safety, food security, canine corps, preventive medicine
- Epidemiologic intelligence service (EIS)
- Speciality branches: Special pathogens, Viral and Rickettsial zoonoses, NCID National Center for Infectious Diseases, Global Health, HIV surveillance, Epidemiology Program office
- Center for Veterinary Medicine
- Center for Food Safety and Nutrition
- Drug evaluation and product safety, food safety
- Veterinary medical officers, disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, disease control and eradication, biosecurity
- Case surveillance, outbreak investigation, preventive medicine
- Clinical trials, basic research
- Pan American Health Organization
- World Health Organization
- US AID
- United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
- Office International des Epizooties
- Peace Corps
Useful web sites for those with an interest in veterinary epidemiology and public health issues:
- ProMED-mail (Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases)
- John Snow and the Broad Street Pump
- Epiinfo (data manipulation, graphing and statistics)
- UCSF: Epidemiology
- EPIVET-L (Veterinary epidemiology listserv) – subscribe via email: email@example.com
- Epidemiology Supercourse
- World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
- Food Safety and Bioterrorism FDA/CFSAN
- USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention