One Health is becoming an increasingly emphasized concept in veterinary medicine as it combines interdisciplinary interests to promote animal, human, and environmental health. To gain hands-on experience with this complex topic, we participated in an activity with students from the UC Davis School of Medicine.
We were placed in small groups with faculty mentors from both the veterinary and human medical schools and collaborated to work through a medical case. This exercise gave us the opportunity to learn more about the med students and their education and professional program while, at the same time, giving them a glimpse into our areas of expertise.
The medical students directly interacted with a human patient to gather a history and conduct a physical exam. It was interesting to watch their patient interactions and directly compare that with our client simulation labs. The veterinary students acted as advisors throughout the process to provide input on potential zoonotic disease and environmental and public health risks. Together, we constructed a treatment plan and determined how to best proceed with the case.
It was a phenomenal experience to learn just how many similarities exist between our professions and how easily we can work together to provide optimal care for all patients, human and animal. I think that everyone involved gained a deeper understanding of the potential we have to make a difference in the lives of our patients. At the end of the day, medicine is medicine and both veterinarians and human physicians can benefit from working together to improve the health of people, animals, and the world we live in.