Tufts' New Certificate Program

In closing the Meeting of the Minds, Anthony Schwartz, PhD, DVM, associate dean at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and program director for the Tufts Animal Expo, stressed that Tufts is determined to establish itself as a leader with a new vision of veterinary education. To that end, Schoen will join Tufts in the spring of 2001 to direct a certificate program for graduate veterinarians in integrated therapies. Schwartz and Schoen are examining the possibility of offering educational programs for other animal health professionals in integrated therapies, although no decision has been announced.

In an interview following the forum, Schwartz said, “This meeting started an excellent dialogue among people with many different opinions on the inclusion of alternative/complementary veterinary medicine in the daily armamentarium of veterinarians. Clients are demanding it. An interesting statement was made during this session. Many of the ‘traditional’ approaches taken by veterinarians did not receive the same rigorous requirements for proof demanded (today) for many alternative therapies. That is, many such treatments were initiated in veterinary medicine based on anecdotal experiences of colleagues, rather than having been based on double blinded controlled studies.”

Schoen says exposure to integrated therapies is available at about half of vet colleges, but Tufts will be the first to formalize training with a certificate-granting curriculum.

“The public will be safer if veterinarians are trained in integrative therapies,” Schoen stressed. “These therapies are not going to disappear. We can create a new paradigm by combining these therapies with the best diagnostics and medicines. No one aspect of veterinary medicine has all the answers.”

About the Author

Fran Jurga

Fran Jurga is the publisher of Hoofcare & Lameness, The Journal of Equine Foot Science, based in Gloucester, Mass., and Hoofcare Online, an electronic newsletter accessible at www.hoofcare.com. Her work also includes promoting lameness-related research and information for practical use by farriers, veterinarians, and horse owners. Jurga authored Understanding The Equine Foot, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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