biodiversity and disease spread

Tufts alum Kathryn Sulzner promotes improved integration and better training of veterinary professionals into the field of conservation medicine and ecosystem health. She encourages collaboration with wildlife biologists and ecologists to identify newly emerging zoonotic diseases and work together to restore ailing ecosystems. (Kat Sulzner, Katie Sulzner, Kate Sulzner)


Tending Animals in the Global Village. A guide to International Veterinary Medicine. David M. Sherman. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2002.

This book, which promotes better educational training and integration of veterinarians into international work and non-traditional career paths, is chock full of information on global policy, public health, and conservation medicine; it should be a part of every veterinary curriculum. You can purchase Dr. Sherman's book at


Conservation medicine: building bridges
Dierauf, Leslie A,VMD; Gwen Griffith, DVM, MS; Val Beasley DVM, PhD; and Ted Y. Mashima DVM, DACZM. JAVMA vol 219. No. 5 (September 1, 2001): 596-597.

"Health connects all living things on earth—animals, plants, and people. Many veterinarians whose careers encompass traditional veterinary medicine increasingly find themselves working on teams of experts that address conservation medicine issues. Conservation medicine is attracting acute attention from numerous members of the veterinary profession and is a concept about which we want every veterinarian to be aware. The field of conservation medicine is a melding of many disciplines—medical, ecologic, and societal—as well as the health links created among these disciplines. Such interdisciplinary collaboration assists with developing animal management practices, science policy, and population dynamics decision-making. Veterinarians must champion conservation and environmental protection measures that directly and indirectly affect animal and human health."

To view the full-length article, go to and type "conservation" in the search box.

Educating Veterinarians for Careers in Free-Ranging Wildlife Medicine and Ecosystem Health
Mazet, Jonna A.K., DVM, MPVM, PhD; Gillian E. Hamilton, DVM; and Leslie A Dierauf, VMD. JVME 33 (3). (2006) AAVMC

"In the last 10 years, the field of zoological medicine has seen an expansive broadening into the arenas of free-ranging wildlife, conservation medicine, and ecosystem health. During the spring/summer of 2005, we prepared and disseminated a survey designed to identify training and educational needs for individuals entering the wildlife medicine and ecosystem health fields. Our data revealed that few wildlife veterinarians believe that the training they received in veterinary school adequately prepared them to acquire and succeed in their field. Wildlife veterinarians and their employers ranked mentorship with an experienced wildlife veterinarian, training in leadership and communication, courses and externships in wildlife health, and additional formal training beyond the veterinary degree as important in preparation for success. Employers, wildlife veterinarians, and job seekers alike reported that understanding and maintaining ecosystem health is a key component of the wildlife veterinarian's job description, as it is critical to protecting animal health, including human health. Today's wildlife veterinarians are a new type of transdisciplinary professional; they practice medicine in their communities and hold titles in every level of government and academia. It is time that we integrate ecosystem health into our curricula to nurture and enhance an expansive way of looking at veterinary medicine and to ensure that veterinary graduates are prepared to excel in this new and complex world, in which the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and people are interdependent."

To view full-length article, go to Go to the quick search box and type "Mazet" under author and "educating veterinarians" under key words.

Evaluation of veterinary public practice programs
Murray, Amanda L., DVM, MPVM; William M Sischo, DVM, MPVM, PhD; and William D. Hueston, DVM, PhD, ACVPM. JAVMA vol 228. No.4 (February 15, 2006): 529-236.

"Historically, one of the principal roles of veterinary medicine was to support agriculture and the production of a healthy, wholesome food supply. By serving those public needs, veterinarians also took an active role in the management of broader public health issues. Under the concept of "one medicine" espoused by Calvin Schwabe, veterinarians, physicians, and other health care providers and scientists work together under 1 umbrella of public health. In this concept, veterinarians support food and water safety, treat and prevent zoonotic diseases, intervene in epidemic disease outbreaks, participate in disease eradication efforts, contribute to health research, and improve the health and maintenance of agricultural animals. Historically, veterinarians were uniquely qualified to participate in these activities because of the multidisciplinary and herd-level training they received, which included an emphasis on population medicine. However, in recent decades, there has been a shift in the veterinary curriculum away from population-based training to a focus on the individual animal. As a result of the increased emphasis on individual animal care, there has been a vital loss of veterinarians in the fields of public practice (the use of veterinary skills in public health, population medicine, regulatory medicine, extension, and support of products and services provided to veterinarians working in food animal production) who are trained with the necessary skills to participate in, and be an integral member of, the public health team."

To view the full-length article, go to and type "public practice" in the search box.

Preparing today's veterinarian for a nontraditional future. Howl, Joanne C., DVM; and Bettye K. Walters, DVM; JAVMA vol 218. No. 2 (January 15, 2001): 199-201.

"Since its formal founding as a center of excellence in 1989,the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's Center for the Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine has been actively training veterinary students and post graduate veterinary professionals to fill positions in non-traditional (nonpractice) veterinary careers. This article is designed to give an overview of the history of the program, the timeliness of the focus of non-traditional career paths, and current opportunities in nontraditional sectors."

To view the full-length article, go to and type "nontraditional" in the search box.

Serving society first: a time for a change in veterinary medicine. Erye, Peter, BVMS, PhD; N. Ole Nielsen, DVM, PhD, DACVP; and James E. C. Bellamy, DVM, PhD. JAVMA vol 225. No. 1 (July 1, 2004): 40-41.

"The educational and licensing processes in veterinary medicine are too rigid. They are crippling the profession's ability to accommodate the changing needs of society. Specifically, agriculture, public health, ecosystem health, and biomedical science are progressively more poorly served by our profession. This situation is inconsistent with the veterinarian's oath wherein veterinarians solemnly swear to act for "the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge" for the benefit of society."

To view the full-length article, go to and type "serving society" in the search box.

The veterinarian's role in conservation
Sharon L. Deem, DVM, PhD, DAVZM. JAVMA vol. 225. No.7 (October 1, 2004).

"During the 1990s and early 2000s, many Americans, including veterinarians, became familiar with such terms and concepts as ecosystem health1 and conservation initiatives. During this same time, the roles that veterinarians can play in conservation initiatives became much more appreciated. These roles vary from making clients aware of ecologic concerns and assisting in wildlife rehabilitation and feral cat control programs to full-time employment in zoologic and wildlife medicine. The knowledge and skills that veterinarians have can be particularly useful in studies of wildlife ecology and conservation. The present report describes the author's role in 3 such studies to highlight the important part that veterinarians can play."

To view the full-length article, go to and type "conservation" in the search box.

The Human-Animal Link
Karesh, William B., and Robert A. Cook. From Foreign Affairs. (July/August 2005). To read this article, go to and click on back issues July/August 2005.

An article of interest on emerging zoonoses that is worth a read can be found at: