Medical schools are partnering with veterinary schools and zoos on cross-species education and research. Turns out that animals and humans might be more similar than we think.
For Julia Hyman, a fourth-year student at Harvard Medical School, getting accepted to work with animals at the Franklin Park Zoo near campus this fall was “a childhood dream.”
Yet she immediately found herself helping the zoo’s veterinarians decide the heaviest question a caregiver confronts: Could they save the life of Luther the white tiger? The 14-year-old cat had been stricken with metastatic cancer, and veterinarians spent weeks refining the diagnosis and researching treatments, while balancing likely outcomes against the effect on his quality of life. For example: What would be the full impacts of amputating one of Luther’s front legs?
Hyman says the care she witnessed for Luther will influence her care for people: “They took so much time to make sure they made the right decision — what would lead to the least amount of suffering and the greatest amount of benefit.”
Hyman was enrolled in Harvard’s three-year-old One Health Clinical Elective, through which medical students go on four-week rotations shadowing veterinarians at the zoo, with the daily clinical practice providing context for readings and discussions on ecosystems and biodiversity. “The point is for students to understand the role of biodiversity in protecting human health and the interdependence of human, animal, and ecosystem health,” says Eric Baitchman, DVM, vice president of animal health and conservation at Zoo New England, which runs the zoo.
That program illustrates one of several ways that medical students and doctors are striving to improve human health by learning from animals and those who treat them.
In recent years, doctors, veterinarians, and other scientists have come together in conference halls, classrooms, labs, and zoos to share and apply knowledge about the progression of harm and healing across species. Among the more recent projects: to see what the degradation of a salamander species in the waterways of Missouri might foretell about how pollutants harm people exposed to the same water; to explore if a protein that protects an elephant from cancer can be used to develop a treatment for humans; and to discover if treating an antibacterial-resistant infection in the family dog can yield ways to alleviate similar infections in people.
“We’re all the same under the hood,” says University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine anatomy professor Peter Dodson, MSc, PhD, who lectures at an educational gathering among medical and veterinarian students there, dubbed the Anatomy Exchange. “An anatomist switching between a human and a dog is like a mechanic switching between a Ford and a Chevy.”
The Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) is a non-profit teaching and referral hospital for native Virginia wildlife. Our mission and passion is to teach the world to care about and to care for wildlife and the environment. Founded in 1982, WCV has provided care to more than 80,000 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals representing over 200 species. Our goal is to release patients back into their natural habitats. At any time, there may be anywhere from 80 to 250 animals on the premises.
WCV is one of the leading teaching hospitals in the country and has trained students from around the world in wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. Our Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship is a one-year advanced training program in wildlife rehabilitation beginning Friday, January 17, 2020 and ending Friday, February 12, 2021. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern is directly supervised by the Center’s three certified and permitted Wildlife Rehabilitators.
Through this program, the intern will:
Gain intensive, hands-on training and experience in the field of wildlife rehabilitation focusing on animal nutrition, husbandry, feeding techniques, capture and restraint methods, release criteria, captive animal behaviors, and natural history.
Learn medical skills from staff veterinarians, such as bandaging, medical math, fluid therapy, zoonotic diseases, and other subjects pertinent to wildlife rehabilitation.
Develop leadership and mentorship qualities by training and supervising new rehabilitation externs, animal care volunteers, and community service volunteers.
Receive public relations training in wildlife hotline management.
Develop public speaking skills through delivering didactic lectures and teaching developed courses to externship students, veterinary students, volunteers, and wildlife rehabilitators.· Have the opportunity to teach a course at the Wildlife Center’s annual Call of the Wild conference.
Provide support during WCV’s annual Gala and Benefit Auction.
Sit for the IWRC’s Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) certification exam.
The Penn Vet Working Dog Center serves as a national research & training center for scent detection dogs. They are trained to find victims of disasters, detect explosives and narcotics, apprehend criminals, and conduct search & rescue missions. Some dogs are trained for ovarian cancer detection. Other medical projects are conducted throughout the year as well. Internships are available in, but not exclusive to, the areas of dog training, behavioral science, psychology, law enforcement, bio-med, research, and database management. This is a 12 week internship, 12 hours/week minimum. We have a rolling admissions policy throughout the school year.
Apply today – these postings expire on November 30, 2019
The Ocean Mammal Institute is hiring two interns! Learn more and apply on Handshake!
Hawaiian Humpback Whale Field Research Internship
Get out into nature in beautiful Maui and learn how to conduct field research on humpback whales. Research the impact of boats on these magnificent mammals and how boats change whale habitat and behavior. The reading material covers whale behavior, how humans affect that and all environmental issues around the oceans. Additionally, we look at other human impacts on the oceans and how human psychology affects the decisions we make about the environment. Learn how we can create meaningful change and raise consciousness about environmental issues.
An OMI research intern is expected to do the following:
Study the biology and behavior of humpback whales while you observe and record their spectacular behaviors.
Learn and apply the principles of field research design.
Gain a personal understanding of the politics of protecting endangered species
Learn about current research on whales and dolphins around the world and related conservation issues.
Be introduced to the field of Ecopsychology, which studies the relationship between humans and the natural world.
Learn how we can create meaningful change and raise the consciousness about environmental issues.
Are you interested in beginning medical, veterinary, or dental school in Fall 2021?
Candidates applying for entry to graduate school in the medical professions in the Fall of 2021 must complete the Matric 21: Middlebury Health Professions Committee Selection Form by November 15, 2019.
Sponsored by The Pre-Health Society and the Center for Careers and Internships, Ms. Allison Keiter, an Admissions Counselor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, will offer a Zoom meeting with students in November. Come with questions and ready to learn more about the vet school admissions process!
WHERE: Adirondack House 218
WHEN: Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 12:30-1:20 PM
If you are in the process of applying to medical school (or thinking of applying in the future,) we have created a Google map of where Midd grads have matriculated to medical school over the last three years. The map will help you see where alumni are located. Simply click on the map pin and it will tell you what school and how many alumni matriculated that year. Keep an eye on the map as we will be adding DO, dental and veterinary schools as well.