American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM)

There is not a residency for Veterinary Preventive Medicine at NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine.  See the ACVPM Application FAQ website for instructions on qualifying for the exam.


Revised: January 2021

Primary References Environmental Health and Toxicology Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Food Protection Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Public Health Administration and Education
Library Tips More Info

The following list of study references is NOT a definitive, exhaustive list for preparing for the ACVPM examinations in the five subject areas:

  1. Environmental Health and Toxicology
  2. Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  3. Food Protection
  4. Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
  5. Public Health Administration and Education

Subcategories and Exam topics within each subject area are more comprehensively listed within the ACVPM Model Curriculum. The Model Curriculum is an excellent resource to identify topic areas for focused study. A systematic reading of every listed resource is not an expectation of the Exam Committee, particularly since some of the resources have considerable overlap in content. Rather, each candidate should select references within each subject area to build upon and strengthen their own existing set of skills and knowledge. Supplementary titles are provided for those who wish to do additional reading. The current scientific and professional literature (ProMed, JAVMA, MMWR, Lancet, NEJM, Science, etc.) is also necessary to properly prepare for the examinations.


Primary References

Applicable to more than one subject area

Reference Information Link to Resource
The Merck Veterinary Manual; current edition is 11th, edited by Susan E. Aiello (subject areas: Environmental Health and Toxicology, Infectious Diseases) Electronic Access   Print Book
Control of Communicable Diseases Manual; current edition is 20th, edited by David L. Heymann (subject areas: Infectious Diseases, Food Safety) Print Book
American Veterinary Medical Association
Centers for Disease Control (sites includes access to MMWR)
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (link on exam document no longer works)
Center for Veterinary Medicine (link on exam document no longer works)
Food Safety and Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
World Health Organization

Environmental Health and Toxicology

The Environmental Health and Toxicology section includes nine subcategories: Air; Land/soil; Water; Waste; Emergency Preparedness and Response; Occupational Health; Vectors; Radiation; and Toxicology. An equal number of questions will be drawn from each subcategory in the multiple choice section of the exam. The Toxicology subcategory draws upon the principles of toxicology and toxic substances in general. Applied knowledge of toxicology is incorporated into many of the subcategories areas.

Primary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Human-Animal Medicine: Clinical Approaches to Zoonoses, Toxicants, and Other Shared Health Risks  [Print Book]  (There are several non-infectious disease chapters that are applicable.) Peter Rabinowitz and Lisa Conti, editors 1st ed. 2010
Toxicology Osweiler, G.D. 1st ed. 1996
Public Health Management of Disasters, the Practice Guide  [Not available at NC State Libraries, request via Tripsaver] Landesman, Linda Young (ed) 4th ed. 2017

Websites in topic areas: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health,  Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry,  National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,  Occupational Safety and Health Administration,  U.S. Department of Agriculture,  American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, etc.

Supplementary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Environmental Engineering, 3 Volumes:
Prevention and response to water-, food-, soil-, and air-borne disease and illness  [Print Book]
Environmental health and safety for municipal infrastructure, land use and planning, and industry  [Print Book]
Water, wastewater, soil, and groundwater treatment and remediation  [Print Book]
Salvato, JA, Nemerow, N; Agardy, FJ; Sullivan, P (ed) 6th ed. 2009
Handbook of Environmental Health Koren, H; Bisesi, M 4th ed. 2003
Casarett & Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons Klaassen, C.D. 9th ed. 2019
Medical Management of Radiological Casualties [not available at NC State Libraries; electronic version available as free pdf, print book can be requested via Tripsaver] Military Medical Operations 4th ed. 2013

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics section of the multiple choice exam includes questions that are drawn from subcategories listed within the Model Curriculum.
Epidemiology is the basic science with tools to support decision making processes in veterinary public health and preventive medicine. It deals with the investigation of diseases, production losses, and health issues in animal and human populations. Essential activities within epidemiology encompass the broad areas of study design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Biostatistical methods and techniques are relied upon to objectively identify factors associated with specific outcomes.
Preventive medicine professionals and other practitioners must be able to integrate and synthesize epidemiological findings with their knowledge from other basic and clinical sciences to design effective disease control and health maintenance programs. This includes the ability to plan surveillance or research activities and to evaluate the results.
Additionally, the ACVPM Exam will require biostatistical knowledge that is essential for a diplomate to operate within the preventive veterinary medicine fields. Candidates will need to demonstrate the ability to use and interpret basic biostatistics used epidemiologic studies and investigations. More specific examples of hypothesis tests and statistical techniques are listed within the Model Curriculum. General biostatistics books will provide the underlying knowledge but may need to be supplemented with an analytic epidemiology text.

Primary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Veterinary Epidemiologic Research Dohoo I, Martin W, Stryhn H 2nd ed. 2009
Veterinary Clinical Epidemiology Smith RD 4th ed. 2020

Supplementary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Veterinary Epidemiology Thrusfield M 4th ed. 2018
Gordis Epidemiology  [current edition has slightly different title and new editors] Celentano DD, Szklo M 6th ed. 2019
Field Epidemiology Gregg MB 3rd ed. 2008
Epidemiology: An Introduction  [Print Book] Rothman KJ 2nd ed. 2012
Biostatistics: A Foundation for Analysis in the Health Sciences  [Not available at NC State Libraries; request via Tripsaver] Daniel WW 11th ed. 2018
Fundamentals of Biostatistics  [Not available at NC State Libraries; request via Tripsaver] Rosner B 8th ed. 2016
Primer of Biostatistics Glantz S 7th ed. 2012

Food Protection

Food science in the ‘Farm to Fork” spectrum is essential for a diplomate to operate within the preventive veterinary medicine fields. See the ACVPM Model Curriculum for Food Protection subcategories.

Primary References

Websites provide key reference materials and current topics

Website with topics Web Address
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including: Food Protection Topics, Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, Food Code, Bad Bug Book
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including: Food Protection Topics, MMWR, PulseNet, FoodNet
World Health Organization (WHO)
American Veterinary Medical Association, concentrating on current topics and articles related to Food Protection
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Review food science basics in a food science text and current focus areas and hot topics in journals such as the Journal of Food Protection and above cited references. No specific text is required.
Review basics on foodborne outbreak investigations and calculations in an appropriate food science or epidemiology textbook. No specific text required.

Infectious and Parasitic Diseases

The Infectious Diseases section includes eight subcategories: Immunology and Pathogenesis; Transmission; Pharmaceuticals; Biologics; Diagnostics and Chemicals; Bacterial, Viral, Rickettsial, Parasitic, TSE, and Mycotic Agents; Foreign Animal Diseases; and General.

Primary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Foreign Animal Diseases  [Print Book] United States Animal Health Association 7th ed. 2008
Diseases and current issues in swine
Veterinary medicine : a textbook of the diseases of cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, and goats  [Print Book] (current ed. title and authors are different than the reading list) Constable, Hinchcliff, Done, Gruenberg 11th ed. 2017
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases of Animals  [Not available at NC State Libraries; request via Tripsaver] Spickler, Roth, Brown, and Galyon 1st ed. 2016
Reference for animal health regulatory functions (animal disease programs, regulatory animal health, biotechnology regulations, emergency response)
Reference website for bovine brucellosis
Bovine tuberculosis regulatory information
International Disease Standards from OIE
Manual of diagnostic tests and vaccines for terrestrial animals OIE 8th ed. 2018
NASPHV compendia and recommendations
Merck Veterinary Manual Online
ISU Veterinary Diagnostic and production animal medicine- disease topics
AVMA Knowledge base
AVMA Hot issues
Veterinary accreditation training modules on foreign animal diseases, role of agencies, aquatic animal diseases, antibiotic use, etc.
CDC Animal parasites
CDC zoonotic disease library

Supplementary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Veterinary Immunology Tizard 10th ed. 2018
Fenner's Veterinary Virology  [Print Book] N. James Maclachlan and Edward Dubovi editors 5th ed. 2017
Parasitic Diseases  [Not available at NC State Libraries; request via Tripsaver] Michael Katz, Dickson D. Despommier, and Robert Gwadz 3rd ed. 1995
Pathogenesis of Bacterial Infections in Animals  [Print Book]
Essentials of Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology
Carlton L. Gyles, J.F. Prescott, Glenn Songer, and Charles O. Thoen

G Carter and D Wise
4th ed.

6th ed.


Public Health Administration and Education

The Public Health Administration and Education section includes questions drawn from the subcategories listed in the Model Curriculum.

Primary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Maxcy, Rosenau, Last: Public Health and Preventive Medicine Robert B Wallace (Editor) 15th ed. 2008
Principles and Practice of Public Health Surveillance Lisa M. Lee, Steven M. Teutsch, Stephen B. Thacker (Editors) 3rd ed. 2010
CDC Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication manual
AVMA Policy Statements and Guidelines (information on government agencies and their specific branches/offices that utilize veterinarians; and, references to other resources, including specialty groups
NASPHV compendia
Public Health Law Program
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Department of Homeland Security
National Association of County and City Health Officials
American Public Health Association
Public Health Accreditation Board website

Supplementary References

Title Author(s)/Editor(s) Edition Copyright Year
Novick & Morrow's Public Health Administration: Principles for Population-Based Management: Principles for Population-Based Management  [Not available at NC State Libraries; request via Tripsaver]  [current edition has changed title and authors] Leiyu Shi & James A Johnson (Eds.) 4th ed. 2021

Library Tips

Search the catalog for additional veterinary preventive medicine resources available at the NC State University Libraries.

More Info

“This is only a convenience copy of the reading list to help find copies of reading materials in the NC State University Libraries.  It does not replace the official reading list. Candidates are responsible for ensuring they use the latest reading list.”

For more information about the ACVPM, please visit the ACVPM homepage.  For more information about the exam, please visit the ACVPM Exam website.

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Page updated 02/12/2021