The National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is launching a new education program designed to prepare high school students for careers in veterinary medicine. The One Health Career-Oriented Youth Educational National Program takes aim at a national shortage in veterinary paraprofessionals. The program emphasizes the public health and regulatory aspects of zoonotic and exotic diseases to qualify students as veterinary paraprofessionals and increase their probability of getting related jobs after graduation.
The phrase "One Health" refers to an international initiative to integrate human and veterinary medicine. At least 60% of all human pathogens are transmissible between human and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The One Health Initiative is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Medical Association.
The curriculum consists of 75 core lessons on basic veterinary science and career education in three tracks: clinical sciences, One Health science and technology, and laboratory research/diagnostic science and technology. The curriculum will be published as a handbook and as a web-based course and for job training, students serve as apprentices in their chosen fields. They observe professionals at work and receive 120 hours of on-the-job training before achieving certification.