Dr. Chip Beckett

by Neal Sivula



When did your interest in Veterinary Medicine begin?

As a senior in High School (1974).

What led you to Holistic Medicine?

My Dad flew Nixon’s press corps to China and a lot of people talked about AP then. I always thought it was “cool” and different. Then my first case in vet school was a foal with an axillary injury that left him 3 legged lame. Dr. Ed Page at Purdue treated him successfully and he walked out on 4 legs 8 weeks later. I knew I had to learn AP after that.

Did you have any mentors as you became involved in Holistic Medicine?

Jack Shuler in North Carolina, Mona Boudreau and Gary Allen from their herb courses, Angela Erickson in Connecticut where I did my internship hours.

What modalities do you practice, and where did you get your training?

IVAS for AP, Mona for Herbs,  Options for Animals for Chiropractic in Illinois, which has now moved to Kansas.


What is the structure of your practice (eg. Solo, group, Integrative, solely Holistic)?  How many support staff do you have?

We are a 3 doctor mixed animal integrative practice. I am the only complementary practitioner right now.  We have 5 support staff. 

What is your physical practice environment?  

Clinic/haul-in facility with equine ambulatory.

What is a normal workday like for you?

Start at 7:30 and go to 6 or so. Surgery two mornings/week, appointments two days in the clinic, two afternoons for farm calls. One day for managing the practice and real estate.

What are your favorite tools (eg. Supplies, products, computers, etc)?  

Insertion tubes. I use them for my physical exams, cost nothing. I think physical findings are the basis of medicine, and should drive imaging/diagnosis, not the other way around. I use a lot of technology, but mostly hate it. 


What provides you with inspiration in your practice life?

Seeing animals and their families better off after seeing me than before they came in.

What are your favorite conferences?  


Are there any other things you do to be inspired professionally?

I have been in the AVMA House of Delegates for the past 6 years. I am now serving on the AVMA Task Force on governance and member participation. I have been a past director of the AAVA.

Do you have any other professional activities?

I was able to be involved with starting the first practice management group focusing on mixed animal practice. It has been really interesting to work with colleagues across the country on how to better balance the competing needs of the large and small animal components of mixed practice, keep our practices viable with suburbanization and farm changes, and develop the business as a concern that can function without the founder(s).


How do you maintain balance between your professional activities and home life?

I am not very good at this. I like to travel if I have vacation time.

What do you like to do away from the office?

My big extra curricular thing at home is local politics. Small business people know so much more about life than so many professional politicians. I think it is too important to leave it to others to do for us, and then complain when they do it badly. I have run unsuccessfully for the state senate twice, but currently serve as Chairman of our Town Council (mayor).

The Future

What is the future of holistic veterinary medicine?

I think there is a strong future. I hope we can understand why AP works from a Western perspective so we can explain why this is the best treatment for a given case.

Do you have any advice to those just starting out?

Keep reading and then do it.

Are there any new developments in Medicine that excite you?

Understanding the immune system will be fascinating as we learn more from AIDS, allergies, and cancer. I think the reaction of the immune system to external stressors will determine and bind the root cause of many of the diseases we currently see.