The conservation medicine approach recognizes that the health of humans, animals and the environment in which they exist are inextricably linked. Conservation medicine practitioners go beyond short-term conservation goals to ensure long-term environmental sustainability. This requires a holistic approach in which biodiversity conservation is achieved via policies and programs that integrate the well-being of all species and their common habitats.
The centerpiece of the International Veterinary Medicine Program is the international student summer research project. Veterinary students at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University who go overseas usually conduct research as part of a long-term International Veterinary Medicine Program research initiative. They are supervised by both a Tufts and a field mentor, and are often paired with a host-country student. As part of their research project, students write a research proposal, find their own funding, conduct their fieldwork, provide stakeholders with a written report, and are encouraged to publish their results in a peer-reviewed journal. Since 1982, over 250 Tufts veterinary students have completed international projects.