Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal

Integrative veterinary medical education and consensus guidelines for an integrative veterinary medicine curriculum within veterinary colleges

M.A. Memon1,*, J. Shmalberg2, H.S. Adair III3, S. Allweiler4, J.N. Bryan5, S. Cantwell6, E. Carr7, C. Chrisman2, C.M. Egger3, S. Greene1, K.K. Haussler4, B. Hershey8, G.R. Holyoak9, M. Johnson2, S. Le Jeune10, A. Looney11, R.S. McConnico12, C. Medina13, A.J. Morton2, A. Munsterman14, G.J. Nie15, N. Park16, M. Parsons-Doherty17, J.A. Perdrizet18, J.L. Peyton10, D. Raditic19, H.P. Ramirez2, J. Saik20, S. Robertson7, M. Sleeper2, J. Van Dyke21 and J. Wakshlag22

1Department of Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

2Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Shmalberg, Chrisman, Johnson, Sleeper), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Morton), and Biomedical Sciences (Ramirez), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

3Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Egger) and Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Adair), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

4Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

5Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

6Medicine Wheel Veterinary Services, Ocala, FL, USA

7Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Robertson) and Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Carr), College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

8Integrative Veterinary Oncology, Phoenix, AZ, USA

9Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA

10Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Peyton) and Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Le Jeune), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

11IVG Hospitals, Woburn, MA, USA

12Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

13Coral Springs Animal Hospital, Coral Springs, FL, USA

14Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA

15Angel Animal Hospital, Springfield, MO, USA

16Integrative Ophthalmology for Pets, Los Angeles, CA, USA

17North Houston Veterinary Specialists, Spring, TX, USA

18The Sanctuary Animal Clinic, Holyoke, MA, USA

19Independent, USA

20Winterville Animal Clinic, Winterville, GA, USA

21Canine Rehabilitation Institute, Wellington, FL, USA

22Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

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Abstract

Integrative veterinary medicine (IVM) describes the combination of complementary and alternative therapies with conventional care and is guided by the best available evidence. Veterinarians frequently encounter questions about complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) in practice, and the general public has demonstrated increased interest in these areas for both human and animal health. Consequently, veterinary students should receive adequate exposure to the principles, theories, and current knowledge supporting or refuting such techniques. A proposed curriculum guideline would broadly introduce students to the objective evaluation of new veterinary treatments while increasing their preparation for responding to questions about IVM in clinical practice. Such a course should be evidence-based, unbiased, and unaffiliated with any particular CAVM advocacy or training group. All IVM courses require routine updating as new information becomes available. Controversies regarding IVM and CAVM must be addressed within the course and throughout the entire curriculum. Instructional honesty regarding the uncertainties in this emerging field is critical. Increased training of future veterinary professionals in IVM may produce an openness to new ideas that characterizes the scientific method and a willingness to pursue and incorporate evidence-based medicine in clinical practice with all therapies, including those presently regarded as integrative, complementary, or alternative.

Keywords: Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine, Integrative veterinary course, Integrative veterinary curriculum, Integrative veterinary medicine, Veterinary education.

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Cite this paper:

Memon, M.A., Shmalberg, J., Adair III, H.S., Allweiler, S., Bryan, J.N., Cantwell, S., Carr, E., Chrisman, C., Egger, C.M., Greene, S., Haussler, K.K., Hershey, B., Holyoak, G.R., Johnson, M., Le Jeune, S., Looney, A., McConnico, R.S., Medina, C., Morton, A.J., Munsterman, A., Nie, G.J., Park, N., Parsons-Doherty, M., Perdrizet, J.A., Peyton, J.L., Raditic, D., Ramirez, H.P., Saik, J., Robertson, S., Sleeper, M., Van Dyke, J. and Wakshlag, J. 2016. Integrative veterinary medical education and consensus guidelines for an integrative veterinary medicine curriculum within veterinary colleges. Open Vet. J. 6(1), 44-56.