AAVMC focuses on One Health
The AAVMC recently held its annual conference, called “One Health in Veterinary Medical Education,” which included more than 60 presentations from more than 90 presenters. Held in Alexandria, Va., it attracted a record number of attendees, exceeding 300.
The name of the conference was inspired by the organization’s vision of a future in which veterinarians, physicians and other health professionals solve problems in medicine using integrated approaches that seamlessly blend the knowledge and strengths of each scientific discipline—commonly known as “One Health.”
Examples of approaches highlighted throughout the conference include the work being done at veterinary schools to control zoonotic infectious diseases, improve clinical care and conduct research that enhances the health and well-being of both animals and people. Attendees also learned about interdisciplinary, often international, educational outreach programs and partnerships; innovative, interactive, cross-disciplinary teaching methodologies; and examples of integrated clinical experiences, research and medical technology.
Some recurrent conference themes included the importance of developing One Health competencies related to skills such as communication, problem solving, strategic “systems” thinking, leadership and collaboration.
The conference highlighted some examples of interprofessional education where veterinary students work together with students from other health professions, some international in scope. Veterinary students are also involved in internships and externships in federal agencies, such as the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), where they work closely with students from other professions.
Hon. Catherine Woteki, the USDA’s chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education and economics says, “It’s thrilling to see veterinary and human medical students working together on One Health.”