Dr. Raditic Speaks Out
Dr Donna Raditic of the University of Tennessee Veterinary School Speaks Out
All veterinarians share a common goal; we want to make our patients healthy. What I now realize is that what makes holistic and veterinarians different is not just our type of treatment, but how we approach our patient. In the integrative health movement we are constantly seeking therapies and approaches that are outside the box of conventional veterinary medicine. And for various reasons we need access to these therapies as many of our patients have failed to respond to standard approaches. They come to us with hope of finding help not available elsewhere. And the love we all feel unites us in this effort that is veterinary medicine. People and animals working constructively to improve the health of all involved. Regardless if it is a new puppy or kitten or a hospice patient with terminal cancer, we approach with a lot of thoughtfulness, gentle treatment plans, and a lot of caring. We are vested in our patients. And once you become a vested, willing to travel a different path to investigate all the options, there is no turning back. The American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Foundation represents all of us; it is our voice and a source of support in this challenging effort.
I remember breaking ground for my own hospital, offering alternative veterinary medicine in the Berkshire in Massachusetts. It was exciting, but there was something missing. I was alone in my work so I dreamed I could turn my hospital into a center to bring in other alternative veterinarians to do lectures. I wanted to share this new knowledge….the clients heard me, but no one else. We have all shared this feeling.
My voice was not any louder, when I left my practice, to start an Integrative Medicine service at The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. I worked the service knowing the clients would come, but I would smile quietly when I heard, “Why is Integrative Medicine seeing this case” while my neurologic patient was awaiting an MRI. Somehow, slowly they seemed to get it; my goal was the same as theirs, to provide the best health care for my patients. This was not about me; it was all about that patient and their caretaker. Our treatment choice may differ, but our goals were shared.
The service grew, adding my colleague and a vet assistant. And after only four years, UTCVM embraced us. We received full faculty status with a Dean appointment and a majority faculty vote; no longer “adjunct.” I reached out to tell someone that would understand what this appointment meant and my voice was heard by the AHVM Foundation. Now it is time for all of us to reach out and be heard; the foundation is our voice. And for clients who have experienced alternative care, a vested veterinarian, we need to encourage them to support our Foundation.
Each of us needs to support the Foundation both conceptually and financially. We need to let our clients know that this is our opportunity to bring into the conventional veterinary medicine forum, another black bag: integrative veterinary medicine. I am overwhelmed with what the Foundation has done to date and the goals we have outlined going forward.
Now as full faculty at a veterinary teaching hospital, we have brought the Foundation here. We have students on our service being exposed to integrative veterinary care. We provide that comprehensive care to many of the faculty’s own furry pets; therefore, we are educating the educators. We are working to gather funds to launch an Integrative Medicine Fellowship, with the university’s mark and the Foundations support. We have Dean approval and are outlining the Fellowship program for maximum impact; we will need funding to make this happen.
After completing our application for research funding with the Dean, faculty and researchers the Foundations is now recognized here at UTCVM. When we received notice we were selected for research funding, the message was email forwarded to everyone at UTCVM. We received congratulations from fellow faculty and publicly at our hospital meetings. Our Integrative Medicine service has some momentum and it is following the momentum of the Foundation….all of us needs to keep it going.
I no longer feel alone, I feel empowered by all the support, goals and values that are the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Foundations. Everyone needs to stop and take one moment to offer your support, tell your clients, we all know what this means to us, the time is now. With the AVMA evaluating their CAVM statement, the timing for all of this becomes critical.
Donate to the AHVM Foundation and tell your clients instead of gifts to you, your staff….send it to the Foundation. I will tell all of you that by supporting the Foundation, which is trying to support Integrative Medicine here at UTCVM, you will be heard. I feel it is my personal responsibility after many years alone, voice silent, to speak for all of us; we will be heard.
I want to thank the AHVM Foundation for all their hard work, their support to me personally and professionally. And I have to say, I finally feel like I have someone to share - all the excitement that alternative medicine has brought to me. I want my voice to be heard, I like to hear it echo in the halls of academia. Thank you……all of you, for being vested in me.
Donna M. Raditic D.V.M., C.V.A.
Clinical Assistant Professor
C247 Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-4544
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The AHVM Foundation was established in part because researchers who wish to conduct research studies in Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine find it difficult to get financial support for that research. The Foundation believes that research in CAVM should be done, and done properly. The quality of research in homeopathy has increasingly improved as the years have progressed. You can read the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy's White Paper containing information about research supporting homeopathy here.
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