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College of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Medicine Careers

Public and Corporate Practice

Federal Government

Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA employs more veterinarians than any other public or private agency. Careers are available in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food Safety and Quality Service (FS & QS). Opportunities include research in infectious and noninfectious diseases and problems caused by uni-cellular and multi-cellular forms on animal life (ARS); licensing and control of biologic products privately produced for use in animals, communicable disease control programs and control of interstate and international movement of livestock (APHIS); and public health protection through food quality control services (FS & QS). Opportunities for service are available worldwide.

Department of Health and Human Services. Three agencies of the U.S. Public Health Service utilize the expertise of veterinarians at home and abroad. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health have a wide variety of research programs in which veterinarians are active participants. In addition, the Bureau of Veterinary Medicine in the FDA reviews license applications for drugs to be used in animals and evaluates surveillance and compliance programs relating to veterinary drugs and devices.

Other Federal Career Opportunities. Veterinary talent and expertise are employed by the Department of Commerce in the National Interior in the Fish and Wildlife Service; the Veterans Administration, in research programs; the Environmental Protection Agency, in research and toxicological surveillance activities; and the Department of Defense, in research programs of its branches, including activities in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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Medical Research and Laboratory Animal Care

A number of veterinarians are employed by medical schools and other institutions to conduct cooperative research benefiting animals and man. Opportunities in this area have been increasing rapidly in recent years.

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Municipal Government

Most cities and some towns employ veterinarians either full-time or part-time as members of their health departments. Such individuals usually are connected with the sanitary control of meat, meat products, milk and milk products, as well as with the promulgation and enforcement of local disease-control ordinances involving rabies and other diseases transmissible to man.

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Private Industry

Private enterprise needs a variety of veterinary specialists. Biological and pharmaceutical companies employ veterinary pathologists, immunologists, microbiologists, pharmacologists, parasitologists, clinicians, surgeons and laboratory animal specialists, among others. Feed manufacturers, the meat industry, horse farms and poultry producers are other examples of corporate employers of veterinarians in the private sector. A variety of industrial and service organizations, such as smelters, railroads and power companies, are frequent employers of veterinarians as consultants on problems of animals, poultry and aquatic life related to corporate activity.

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State Employment

Each state has a chief livestock sanitary officer, usually identified as the state veterinarian, who enforces the laws, rules and regulations formulated to suppress disease of animals within the state and controls the movement of animals within the state. In most states, a corps of veterinarians is employed in this regulatory work.

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