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On-Line DVM-MS Degree Program in Food Safety

Investigators
Bartlett, Paul
Institutions
Michigan State University
Start date
2006
End date
2009
Objective
To design and implement a new online DVM-MS degree in food safety at Michigan State University. Veterinary students with an interest in food animal production medicine and food safety will be encouraged to combine both specialties by working toward a combined DVM-MS degree in food safety. We anticipate that an increased veterinary input into food safety in our country will increase food biosecurity through the private and public employment of trained food safety field epidemiologists.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The food safety veterinarians of the future must learn to combine their traditional veterinary training with new competencies in biosecurity, food safety, animal science, quality control, risk management, field epidemiology, disease control, risk communication and animal welfare. Increasingly, food safety veterinarians may be employed by the food industry or perhaps by a governmental agency, in contrast to the private practice paradigm of years past. Multidisciplinary interaction with all aspects of the food production and distribution system will be an essential requirement. We propose the development of a new online DVM-MS Specialty in Food Safety to enable the next generation of food safety veterinarians to meet the disease control challenges of the future. At least three new courses will be developed which will enable current veterinary students to "dove-tail" into the advanced courses offered in programs such as our current Pro-MS in Food Safety, thereby eliminating the need for the DVM-MS students to take the introductory food safety courses that repeat material covered in the DVM curriculum. Our proposed program for a DVM-MS in Food Safety will produce food safety field epidemiologists with a practical working knowledge of the food production environment, the food distribution system, and foodborne disease and population-level disease control techniques. The skills of our graduates will need to be extremely flexible, with applicability to all types of natural and purposeful/bioterrorist microbiological and toxicological agents that might affect the human food chain.

APPROACH: Creating the proposed DVM-MS curriculum will not be a simple matter of offering our existing food safety courses to veterinary students. The Pro-MS curriculum and the DVM curriculum currently contain substantial areas of overlap, especially in microbiology, toxicology, epidemiology, and infectious disease control. The DVM-MS students will need to achieve a greater degree of competency than what is currently expected of the Pro-MS students in areas such as microbiology, epidemiology and disease control strategies. Courses in the DVM curriculum may be transferred to the MS in Food Safety program (12 credits maximum). Some courses in the current Pro-MS program that have considerable overlap with the DVM curriculum, but contain certain modules which can be adapted for combination with new subject material to create new courses for the new proposed DVM-MS program. Other Pro-MS courses which contain very little overlap with the DVM curriculum, and we propose that the DVM-MS students can enroll in these courses along with the Pro-MS students. Once the new DVM-MS Food Safety program has been developed, management of the DVM-MS program will likely be integrated with the Pro-MS in Food Safety program, which is currently directed by Dr. Edward Mather. Dr. Julie Funk will be arriving on faculty in May 2006 as the new director of the Pro-MS program. Dr. Mather will remain involved to assist and guide the program.

PROGRESS: 2007/09 TO 2008/09
As promised, we created and taught three new courses. VM-830-730 Food Safety Research Methods was taught for the first time in 2008. The course was very successful and will be made into a required course for all the MS in Food Safety students, including the new DVM/MS students. The VM-831-730 Foodborne Disease Epidemiology course was also taught in 2008, and has now been designated as one of two courses that can be used to meet the epidemiology requirement for the MS in Food Safety. Additionally, this course was taught in the fall of 2008 to MSU's first MPH class. We hope that this course sharing will bring about the melding of the MPH and MS in Food Safety programs, eventually leading to additional course sharing and the initiation of a food safety specialty for our new MPH program. The VM-832-730 Food Safety Disease Control course was also taught in 2008 to the DVM/MS students as well as to the regular MS in Food Safety students. This 3-credit course may also be offered as three separate one-credit courses: Food Safety Principles and International Practice, Food Inspection Programs and National and International Disease Control Programs. An additional one-credit program in meat inspection may also be added. The MS in Food Safety program has grown from enrolling about 20 new students per year to enrolling about 25 new students per year. Currently about 20% are veterinarians or veterinary students. The new DVM/MS in Food Safety combined program was approved by Michigan State University and the first two DVM students have enrolled. The program is very simple to describe. Veterinary students take two on-line food safety courses during the summer after their first year of veterinary school and take another two courses during the summer after their 2nd year of veterinary school. They transfer 9 credits from veterinary school. After graduation from veterinary school, they need to take 3 additional on-line courses. During the coming year, we hope to offer the dual degree program to veterinary students at other universities. PRODUCTS: VM-830-730 Food Safety Research Methods was taught for the first time in 2008. The course was very successful and will be made into a required course for all the MS in Food Safety students, including the new DVM/MS students. The VM-831-730 Foodborne Disease Epidemiology course was also taught in 2008, and has now been designated as one of two courses that can be used to meet the epidemiology requirement for the MS in Food Safety. Additionally, this course was taught in the fall of 2008 to MSU's first MPH class. We hope that this course sharing will bring about the melding of the MPH and MS in Food Safety programs, eventually leading to additional course sharing and the initiation of a food safety specialty for our new MPH program. The VM-832-730 Food Safety Disease Control course was also taught in 2008 to the DVM/MS students as well as to the regular MS in Food Safety students. This 3-credit course may also be offered as three separate one-credit courses: Food Safety Principles and International Practice, Food Inspection Programs and National and International Disease Control Programs. An additional one-credit program in meat inspection may also be added
OUTCOMES: The MS in Food Safety program has grown from enrolling about 20 new students per year to enrolling about 25 new students per year. Currently about 20% are veterinarians or veterinary students. The new DVM/MS in Food Safety combined program was approved by Michigan State University and the first two DVM students have enrolled. The program is very simple to describe. Veterinary students take two on-line food safety courses during the summer after their first year of veterinary school and take another two courses during the summer after their 2nd year of veterinary school. They transfer 9 credits from veterinary school. After graduation from veterinary school, they need to take 3 additional on-line courses. During the coming year, we hope to offer the dual degree program to veterinary students at other universities.
DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: The MS in Food Safety program has been active in recruiting students, and our enrollment of new students has increased from about 20 to about 25 per year. MSU's new MPH program has also been actively recruiting students, and they are all taking the epidemiology course that was created with this HEC funding.
FUTURE INITIATIVES: We would the MS in Food Safety program to continue to grow, and would like to publicize the DVM/MS in Food Safety program to veterinary students at other universities. We hope to integrate our new courses with MSU's new MPH program and eventually offer a food safety specialty within the MPH degree program.

IMPACT: 2007/09 TO 2008/09
The MS in Food Safety program has grown from enrolling about 20 new students per year to enrolling about 25 new students per year. Currently about 20% are veterinarians or veterinary students. The new DVM/MS in Food Safety combined program was approved by Michigan State University and the first two DVM students have enrolled. The program is very simple to describe. Veterinary students take two on-line food safety courses during the summer after their first year of veterinary school and take another two courses during the summer after their 2nd year of veterinary school. They transfer 9 credits from veterinary school. After graduation from veterinary school, they need to take 3 additional on-line courses. During the coming year, we hope to offer the dual degree program to veterinary students at other universities.

PROGRESS: 2006/09/15 TO 2007/09/14
The project is going very well. We are ahead of schedule. Two of the three promised 3-credit courses have been written and are being taught this current semester (fall semester 2007) to ten graduate students. These courses are VM 831 Foodborne Disease Epidemiology and VM 832 Foodborne Disease Control. The last remaining course (VM 833 Foodborne Disease Research Methods) has been outlined, instructors have been identified for each module, and we plan to teach this course for the first time in summer semester 2008. In the summer of 2007, the DVM / MS Dual Degree Food Safety Program was approved by our University. We are currently talking to faculty members and administrators regarding how we should best integrate this new dual degree program with other teaching programs. We already have two veterinary students who have expressed their intent to apply for this new dual degree program when it is offered. We will soon announce this dual degree program to our first and second year veterinary students.
PRODUCTS: We have created two of the three promised new courses. The third is being developed.
OUTCOMES: The new dual degree program has been initiated.
DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: None yet. We have only completed the first year of the project.
FUTURE INITIATIVES: One of the new courses will also be used for a new MPH program.

IMPACT: 2006/09/15 TO 2007/09/14
We are now teaching the two new courses to about 10 graduate students.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
MICL08385
Accession number
206995
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Food Defense and Integrity
Natural Toxins
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication