At the beginning of the semester, the advisor for the class of 2016 made us aware of an opportunity I had never heard of before. She told us about the Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals & Initial Accreditation Training, which is typically offered to third-year students at my school, and has the benefits of becoming an accredited veterinarian.
Essentially, accredited veterinarians go through a training program to be able to write health certificates for the movement of animals, intrastate, interstate, and internationally to reduce the risk of spreading animal diseases. Accredited veterinarians act on behalf of the USDA and contribute much needed manpower to the prevention of disease outbreaks, both within a state and across the globe.
It never occurred to me that I would need specific training in order to do this, and that even in private, small animal practice, I may come across a client who is traveling with an animal and may need one. Naturally, I leapt at the opportunity to begin the training.
The training is two parts: the first part is an online course, the second part being an in-person seminar with a representative of the EEDA after completion of the online portion. Right now, I’m working through the online course and learning about federal transport laws, which are significantly more intricate than I thought they would be. I’ve always been partial to public health and regulatory medicine though, so I find the lessons very interesting.
Aside from the public health aspect of being accredited, it adds to your value as a (future) veterinarian. The ability to write health certificates is a service that not all veterinarians can give, and a service that adds profits for a clinic. I know most people don’t go into veterinary medicine for the money, but we all know the student loan struggle!
I believe that if your school gives you the opportunity to become accredited upon graduation, you should definitely take it. Some internships and practices actually require it, so it makes you more marketable as a candidate. In a world of increasing class sizes and increasing numbers of vet schools, we could all use a competitive edge.