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J Vet Med Educ. 2005 Fall;32(3):373-6.

Experiences and difficulties encountered during a course on veterinary public health with students of different nationalities.

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Division of Public Health and Food Safety, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80175, NL-3508, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Veterinary public health (VPH) issues have received increased attention over the last few years as a result of the rising threat of emerging zoonoses (i.e., those due to globalized trade in animal and animal products and to changes in livestock production systems and the environment). The international dimension of VPH is gradually becoming recognized, and there is a growing need for veterinarians with experience in this field. In order to familiarize (future) veterinarians with the international dimension of VPH, the Department of Public Health and Food Safety of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, has been organizing a course in Veterinary Public Health and Animal Production for over the last 10 years. This course has been intended for Dutch as well as foreign final-year veterinary students and recent veterinary graduates. By bringing together participants from different countries, the course reinforces the international dimension of the issues addressed through the exchange of experiences by the participants themselves. The present article provides information about this course on Veterinary Public Health (VPH): it discusses logistics, didactical approaches, the course program, and the use of information and communication technology (ICT). Special attention is given to the intercultural aspects of higher education, all of which play an important role in the efficient exchange of knowledge between lecturers and students. International courses are an important tool to enable participants to interact in a multicultural environment and address issues that demand international cooperation and a global public health focus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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