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Biomedical Course Syllabus
Name of Course: Epidemiology and Public Health
Course Number: VMB 766
Catalog Description of Course: This course will focus on the application of epidemiology to the field
of veterinary medicine and the study of important veterinary public health issues.
Prerequisites, Co-requisites and Enforced Prerequisites: 2nd year standing in Veterinary
Instructors: Anna Jolles, PhD; Rosalie Trevejo, DVM, MPVM, PhD
Number of term credits: 3
Weeks duration: 10 weeks
Lecture hours: 3 Clinic hours: 0 Discussion hours, 0 rounds: 0 /term
Total student contact hours per week: 3
Evaluation of Student Performance: Final grade will be average of combined scores for
epidemiology and veterinary public health portions of course.
A: 90-100%
B: 80-89%
C: 70-79%
D: 60-69%
F: <60%
The veterinary epidemiology portion of the grade will be determined as follows:
quizzes (4) = 20%
take-home practice questions (4 sets) = 20%
exam = 60%
The veterinary public health portion of the grade will be determined as follows:
Quizzes (4 @ 12.5% ea.)
Final Exam
Learning Objectives: Veterinary epidemiology adds a population –wide perspective to the students’
understanding of animal health, complementing the patient –focused approaches of clinical practice.
Course goals in veterinary epidemiology focus on four main areas of learning: (i) describing and
understanding the occurrence of disease in space and time; (ii) evaluating and interpreting diagnostic
tests; (iii) evaluating disease prevention and treatment options; and (iv) understanding study design in
veterinary medicine. These concepts will be demonstrated through lectures, discussions, exercises, and
student research-based activities to accommodate a range of student learning styles.
The public health portion of the course will familiarize students with the veterinarian’s role in the
promotion of community health and the activities and responsibilities of public health veterinarians and
allied public health professionals. Student will develop an awareness of important public health
concepts as well as the ability to communicate with colleagues on public health issues.
Measurable Student Learning Outcomes:
Following completion of this course the students are expected to be able to:
1. Describe spatio-temporal patterns of disease in populations using proper terminology, and
understand the basic processes that generate typical patterns.
2. Understand diagnostic test validity, and its implications for the predictive value of diagnostic
tests in distinguishing animals with and without disease.
3. Distinguish different study designs for evaluating treatment options in veterinary medicine,
and understand their relative strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for evaluating results
presented in the veterinary scientific literature.
4. Understand how research studies identify causes of disease in veterinary medicine;
interpret commonly used measures for communicating the role of different risk factors in
disease causation.
5. Describe the various public health roles of veterinarians and be able to explain their function
in the protection and promotion of global public health.
6. Recognize the public health infrastructure at the local, state, federal, and international level,
and be able to describe career opportunities for veterinarians in these settings.
7. Identify and define important zoonotic and emerging diseases; demonstrate the ability to
communicate principals of disease transmission, prevention and control to clients and the
general public.
8. Describe and apply the principles of outbreak investigation and control, including
biocontainment and biosecurity and food security.
9. Describe common food safety issues and the veterinarian’s role in maintaining health
standards in the food industry.
-Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities
"Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Disability Access
Services (DAS). Students with accommodations approved through DAS are responsible for
contacting the faculty member in charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the
term to discuss accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but
who have not yet obtained approval through DAS should contact DAS immediately at 737-4098."
Link to Statement of Expectations for Student Conduct, i.e., cheating policies
Gordis, Leon: Epidemiology, 4th ed. (2009).
Clinical Approaches to Zoonoses, Rabinowitz & Conti, (2009), Saunders.
AVMA Collections: Zoonosis Updates,, 2010.
Zoonoses and Communicable Diseases Common to Man and Animals, 3rd edition Volume I
Bacterioses and Mycoses, Pedro N. Acha and Boris Szyfres (2003).
Control of Communicable Diseases in Man, 19th edition, Abram S. Benenson, editor, (2009)-reserve
status “pending”.
Control of Communicable Diseases Manual 19th edition, David Heymann, editor, (2008), APHA.
Food Microbiology; Fundamentals and Frontiers, 3rd edition, Michael P. Doyle and Larry R. Beuchat,
editors, 2007, American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC
Methods, learning resources: Lectures, in-class quizzes, take-home quizzes, in-class
discussions, take-home practice questions, text book.
More detailed syllabus or course notes available on Web in more detail: yes
no X
Course Content:
Patterns of disease occurrence
Diagnostic tests – evaluation & interpretation
Observational study designs
Evaluating treatment options - randomized trials
Epidemiology case studies and exam
discussion total contact
Introduction to Veterinary public health
Biosafety outbreak
Role of State
Public Health
Foodborne disease and food safety, Antibiotic
Disaster response, public health exam