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Veterinary student and veterinarian attitudes toward veterinary public health and epidemiology

Veterinary student and veterinarian attitudes toward veterinary public health and epidemiology

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 233(2): 240-247

ISSN/ISBN: 0003-1488

PMID: 18627226

DOI: 10.2460/javma.233.2.240

To identify predictors of veterinary students and veterinarians having an interest in veterinary public health and epidemiology (PH&E). Cross-sectional study. Veterinary students enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University and veterinarians with membership in a Texas veterinary professional organization. 2 questionnaires were designed and administered to investigate hypothesized predictors of PH&E interests among veterinary students and veterinarians. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables from both questionnaires. Prevalence ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and chi(2) tests were used to evaluate bivariate associations between variables and an interest in PH&E. Multivariable logistic regression was used to adjust for the effects of multiple variables on the outcome. 70% (215/305) of students believed that a course in PH&E was necessary, and 46% (140/304) believed that more courses in PH&E would improve the veterinary curriculum. Ninety-nine percent (299/303) of veterinarians believed that a course in PH&E was necessary in the curriculum. Ninety-two percent (272/297) of veterinarians agreed that knowledge related to PH&E was important to perform the functions of their job. History of raising animals and membership in 4-H or Future Farmers of America were significant predictors of veterinary students having an interest in PH&E. Being male and growing up in a rural environment were not significant predictors. Most veterinary students and veterinarians agreed that knowledge of PH&E is important. Variables identified as associated with an interest in PH&E may be useful for designing mitigation strategies to increase the number of veterinarians entering public health careers.

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