Some of you may be familiar with The Healer’s Art, a discussion-based curriculum that fosters a community of inquiry and self-discovery for veterinary students and faculty. Occupying a niche not traditionally filled by most veterinary school curricula, The Healer’s Art strives to promote experiential learning and sharing of experiences, beliefs, and reflection on how veterinary professionals can most completely and mindfully practice medicine. The program originally began as an addition to medical school curricula and is currently in place in two vet schools: Colorado State University and UC Davis.
The program is in its second year at Davis, and I am so supportive of the mission that it aims to impart upon its students. Through five 3-hour modules, I am able to come together with members of my class and local veterinarians who serve as facilitators for our small groups.
With each session, I continue to see that the veterinary community is unwaveringly supportive of each other. I often become distracted learning all the scientific and clinical intricacies of veterinary medicine that I realize I may be neglecting proper examination of my own well-being, empathy development, and compassion fatigue. The Healer’s Art helps me to reengage with these undervalued aspects of our field.