When did your interest in Veterinary Medicine begin?
I first became interested in Veterinary Medicine as a career when I was in college. I attended a tour of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and I knew immediately that I wanted to become a Veterinarian. The fact that I could combine my interest in medicine and my love of animals and make a career out of it was exciting for me.
What led you to Holistic Medicine?
After 15 years in private practice, I became frustrated with the limitations of Western Veterinary Medicine. I was practicing the best medicine I could practice, yet there were still patients who needed more. I had personally benefitted from holistic therapies, so I decided to further my training so that I could offer comprehensive care to my patients.
Did you have any mentors as you became involved in Holistic Medicine?
Dr. Neal Sivula has been a mentor and a source of inspiration and support.
What modalities do you practice, and where did you get your training?
I received my Veterinary Acupuncture Certification through the Chi Institute. I also have certifications in Reiki (Level II) and NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique, Basic). I plan to further my Holistic training to include Veterinary Chiropractic and Chinese Herbology.
What is the structure of your practice (eg. Solo, group, Integrative, solely Holistic)? How many support staff do you have?
I work in a small animal private practice with 3 other Veterinarians. I am the only practitioner at our hospital with training in Holistic Medicine. We have 3 Registered Veterinary Technicians and 6 Veterinary Assistants.
What is your physical practice environment?
My practice environment is a typical, busy small animal practice.
What is a normal workday like for you?
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “normal” workday in veterinary medicine, but I divide my time among surgery, outpatient care, inpatient care and acupuncture cases.
What are your favorite tools (eg. Supplies, products, computers, etc)?
My library is my favorite tool. Much of what I love about being a veterinarian is that I get to learn something new almost every day.
What provides you with inspiration in your practice life?
I am inspired by veterinarians who think outside the box. The veterinary profession will continue to move forward as long as we veterinarians are willing to pave the way with hard work and open minds. Also, the resilience of my patients and their acceptance of the treatments I provide boggles my mind and will always provide inspiration for me to do the best that I can for them.
What are your favorite conferences?
I routinely attend the Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City. I look forward to becoming a regular attendee at conferences held by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture.
Are there any other things you do to be inspired professionally?
When it comes to my personal health, I am open to exploring Holistic therapies. I have gained much insight and inspiration (and health benefits!) from the professionals who provide these services to me. I have received treatments and have been inspired from discussions with my acupuncturist, chiropractor, and Reiki practitioner.
Do you have any other professional activities?
How do you maintain balance between your professional activities and home life?
I have a wonderful husband and a great network of friends with which to share my free time.
What do you like to do away from the office?
In my personal time, I enjoy cooking and exploring the food culture of Cleveland (where I live). I also play acoustic guitar and sing lead vocals in a band.
What is the future of holistic veterinary medicine?
I anticipate the future of Holistic Veterinary Medicine to be one of greater acceptance. That is, as talented holistic practitioners become more prevalent so does the willingness of veterinarians who accept and offer non-traditional therapies.
Do you have any advice to those just starting out?
My advice to those just starting out is to work hard and always strive to do your best for your patients; always be willing to consider new forms of treatment; be rigorous in your evaluation of new therapies and “first, do no harm”; enjoy what you do as it is such a privilege to be able to do it; and educate others as to the benefits of what you do.
Are there any new developments in Medicine that excite you?
I am happy to see the continued acceptance of Holistic Veterinary Medicine by the veterinary profession.