When the FDA Says You’re Out, But You’re Not: The Shively Animal Clinic
Mayo Clinic Medical Center researchers have discovered that the majority of people diagnosed with a chronic illness are not being told the truth about their condition.
The Mayo Clinic Clinical Research Coordinator for Animal Health and Behavior (CRCAF) recently interviewed animal clinic workers and staff in a collaboration with the Center for Veterinary Behavior Research (CVB).
The results of the study were published in the January issue of Veterinary Behavior Science.
“We wanted to know how veterinarians and clinicians felt about the lack of informed consent for the clinic staff to share their knowledge with the clinic,” says CRCAF’s clinical coordinator, Dr. Joanne Zeller, M.D. The result was surprising.
“When we first approached them, the clinic workers were very concerned about the clinic and its relationship with the veterinary practice, but they also felt like it was a good place to learn about their own work,” Zeller says.
“And then, after they met the clinic, they were able to learn that the clinic is a very good place for their work.”
To find out more about the findings, we reached out to the clinic’s owner, Drs.
Matthew Whelan and James Dutton, as well as the veterinary practices that employed them.
The clinic was open to all veterinarians with a current certificate of veterinary practice (VDP) in addition to a valid veterinary license, including veterinarians from the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic North America.
The clinic also has a long history of caring for animals in a variety of ways, including quarantine, veterinary medical care, and research.
“I’m not going to be a part of the story because the clinic doesn’t want me to talk about it,” Whelans says.
When we reached Whelons and Dutton to ask about their experiences, they shared that they have been “very, very supportive of what we’re doing.”
Whelians says that while there are veterinary practices with which they have an ongoing relationship, he and Densons are currently the only veterinarians at the clinic that is part of a collaborative study.
“This has been an incredible opportunity to share information about the work that our veterinary practices do and to have this research help us do that,” he says.
“In the end, it’s been a very productive collaboration, and it’s great to know that our work is contributing to a better understanding of what makes us who we are as veterinarians,” Withers adds.
The researchers also spoke to veterinary practices about the ethical implications of sharing their knowledge of animal behavior.
In one case, they found that a veterinary practice with multiple veterinary staff was sharing information about veterinary behavior to the public without informing any of the vets working on the project.
“There’s a lot of potential for miscommunication, but at the end of the day, we’re sharing information that helps us better understand the human side of the work,” says Dr. Matthew Schuster, director of veterinary medicine at the University at Buffalo.
“We’re not necessarily providing information that’s scientifically useful.
We’re providing information to understand the processes that are going on in the animal world and how they’re being used for humans.”
The researchers note that they were interested in what would happen if a vet shared their knowledge to the community and the public.
“In the long run, this is what this research is about, and we’re hoping that this is something that other people will use,” Zellers says.
The study is one of many conducted by CVAF in the veterinary community, focusing on the needs of veterinarians, animal owners, and patients.
The findings may be applicable to veterinary practice anywhere, including the veterinary industry itself.
“When you’re looking at how to improve the human-animal relationship, it doesn’t matter what your specialty is,” says Zeller.
“It really matters what you’re doing in your profession.”
The Mayo Veterinary Behavior Institute (MVAI) is an academic and research organization that seeks to advance knowledge and practice related to animal welfare, research, education, and communication.
The MVAI also serves as a public education resource for the veterinary profession and has an outreach program that provides access to information on animal welfare issues and provides opportunities for people to connect with other veterinarians.
Contact [email protected] for more information.
This article was originally published by Mashable and is reprinted here with permission.