Over the weekend, I attended the annual meeting of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA); I hadn’t been to that particular conference for a few years.
One thing hadn’t changed: The number of veterinarians at the meeting whose biography follows this basic pattern: I always loved animals, I went to college and then vet school, I went into practice as a conventional medical practitioner, and after X years of practice, I grew frustrated at the number of cases I couldn’t fix with conventional medicine; I grew interested in complementary or alternative medicine, had some amazing successes with (fill in the blank: acupuncture, chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, herbs, or other), and now I can’t imagine not using these tools as part of my practice.
I have to hand it to these medical professionals; even after an enormous amount of post-graduate education and years (if not decades) in practice, their thirst for knowledge about compassionate, effective, gentle ways to heal their animal clients is unquenchable. They linger after the sessions to ask detailed questions of the presenters, they share stories about their toughest cases with each other over meals — and many of them return calls to their clients back home in between sessions. It was a pleasure and an honor to be among them for a couple of days, — and I hope to bring some of their stories and voices to WDJ soon.