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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Veterinarians And Physicians Collaborate And Many Species Win

 Photo of Dr. Jonathan M. Levine at Texas A&M and patient, Dexter, by Michael Stravato, courtesy of The New York Times.
 We were heartened by the collaboration between veterinarians and physicians for humans detailed in this recent article in the Science Section of The Times. When humans collaborate, even in areas that are unusual or unexpected, it seems to create a win-win outcome. And certainly in the scenarios described in this article, where for example, doctors at a New York hospital's Vascular Birthmark Institute visited the city's animal medical center to study dogs-specifically their arteries and veins that are rare in humans but common in canines. And the examples continue, with vets visiting human hospitals to benefit their four-legged patients.

But the benefits aren't just a one way street: "It's not unusual these days for veterinary surgeons to call in their human medicine counterparts for consultations, or even to take part in tricky operations. Vets go on rounds at hospitals for people and vice versa. [And]  both sides attend each others conferences." This collaboration results in real benefits to all species involved, both in direct medical benefits available now and in the future. In fact, this typed of partnership reflects a  philosophical movement called  "one health" or "one medicine",  ..."the recognition that about 60 % of all diseases move across species and that environmental pollution, animal diseases and human diseases constitute a single interlocking problem."

We think this is quite cool! What do you think about this type of  cross-species collaboration? Let us know!


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