Connecting Health and Medicine in Animals and Humans
What is in it for a medical school to partner/sponsor Zoobiquity? Within veterinary science lie many insights that could be of significant clinical benefit to human patients. Unfortunately, physician communities remain inadequately aware of the tremendous overlap between the disorders of human and non-human animals and of veterinary advances that could benefit multiple species including people. The Zoobiquity Conference allows physicians, medical students and other healthcare providers of the human community with exposure to colleagues of the species divide.In previous Zoobiquity Conferences, medical school participants have learned about novel treatments such as self-injury from experts in veterinary behavior and novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to dealing with osteosarcoma and breast cancer from veterinary oncologists.In the past, the National Institutes of Health have begun to recognize the importance of this interdisciplinary area and various institutes have created new funding mechanisms for biomedical research using a comparative approach and looking at spontaneously-occurring diseases in animal model (non-laboratory).Also, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a nationally recognized leader in biomedical research and education, has spearheaded these interdisciplinary conferences. As a result of their leadership, many research and educational partnerships for faculty and students have become engaged in cross-disciplinary work at the university and around the country.
Why should faculty attend? Based on feedback from physicians who have attended past Zoobiquity Conferences, it is clear the experience is unlike any other medical conference they have attended. These programs utilize a powerful comparative approach to reviewing diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in both human and veterinary medical clinical practice. Past medical faculty have partnered with their local veterinary institutions and colleagues in collaborative research and developed novel educational programs for their students.The conference morning sessions are didactic case discussions with leading clinicians from both human and veterinary specialists. The afternoon sessions are clinical rounds at a veterinary facility, providing faculty with hands-on and intimate exposure to state-of-the-art care delivery in the non-human animal world.
How are other medical schools involved in programs you have done across the country? Every Zoobiquity Conference is planned with human and veterinary medical partners. Past conferences have involved numerous medical schools who have gone on to develop interdisciplinary training opportunities at their home institutions. One Health is one of the important ideas of our time yet the vast majority of physicians remain quite unaware of its potential.Policymakers are increasingly recognize the importance of incorporating One Health into health initiatives such as in cancer research and antimicrobial stewardship programs, among others. Past medical partners in the Zoobiquity Conference series include the medical schools and teach hospitals at UCLA, Stanford University, University of Washington, Columbia, New York University-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell, Mount Sinai, Harvard, University of Massachusetts, Boston University and many others. We have also partnered internationally to bring human and veterinary faculty and trainees together at the University of Sydney and Utrecht University in the Netherlands.