Human and animal health: strengthening the links

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7527.1269 (Published 24 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1269

Combined courses for vets and doctors?

  1. Hadley Bagshaw (kiragshaw{at}yahoo.com), staff veterinarian,
  2. Roger Bagshaw, anaesthesiologist
  1. Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, Red Bank, NJ 07724, USA
  2. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    EDITOR—Although over the years differences between human and veterinary medicine have narrowed, particularly with respect to therapeutic options within ubiquitous economical constraints,1 doctors' responses to the present day sophistication of veterinary medicine can sometimes border on the condescending. The fundamentals of medical physiology and pathophysiology are the same, and many disease syndromes are similar enough to warrant numerous animal models for human conditions. The consequences of this can be profound when the medical fates of humans and animals can be inextricably entwined through emotional bonds, economic necessity, and zoonotic potential.2

    Perhaps medical and veterinary schools should facilitate combined programmes for certain motivated individuals. Given the universal underpinning of medicine this should be no more or less challenging than combined medical and dental or research degrees.


    • Competing interests None declared.


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