Past September the board of Hygieia was addressed by the Public Health Pool; an association for students and professionals which, like Hygieia, promotes an active approach of veterinary public health issues. On November 10th they organized a symposium about the improvement of the veterinary public health education. As members of Hygieia, we were very interested in the activities of the Public Health Pool. But also as veterinary students it was an unique opportunity to visit the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.
The symposium started with a short introduction by the president of the Public Health Pool, Ms. Nigsch and principal of the Veterinary Faculty in Vienna, Mr. von Fircks. They described in short the current situation regarding veterinary public health education in Vienna. This was followed by different presentations about past, present and future education models. Both students and teachers were allowed to speak and discuss freely with each other, concerning content and organizational aspects. While boosting our knowledge of the German language, it was very interesting to hear in which ways public health education is organized in Vienna. As an extra, we also experienced the Austrian way to applaud; by tapping the table.
During our presentation we had the opportunity to tell all persons present about the implementation of veterinary public health education at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine inUtrecht. Curriculum 2001 courses, which the three of us attended, as well as the coming Bachelor/Master system were outlined. The choice of differentiation taking place later on in our curricula was taken into consideration for the development of the Bachelor/Master construction in Vienna.
While presenting and discussing we discovered many similarities between Hygieia and the Public Health Pool. Both associations agreed about a cooperation in the near future. This time it is Hygieia’s turn to invite the Public Health Pool board and members, but of course organizing an international event on a veterinary public health issue together is our aim!
Finally, we would like to thank the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht for making this visit possible. Besides, we would also like to thank the board of the Public Health Pool for inviting us. Their interesting symposium, the great atmosphere and a short city trip to Vienna made it unforgettable!
Lotte Kok, active member of Hygieia
Tineke Kramer, chairman of Hygieia
Merel Rooijmans, vice-chairman of Hygieia