What are the lessons that human medicine can learn from vet medicine?
Human medicine relies on patient communication to assist with a medical diagnosis and the instigation of appropriate clinical treatment protocols. Patients are normally asked a series of health related questions to ascertain their medical history, current health status and presenting clinical symptoms. However, one can ask what happens if there is no effective verbal communication between the health care practitioner and the patient? Consider if you will the paediatric patient, the non-English speaking patient, the autistic, deaf, or mentally ill patient? What about a patient who has had a recent stroke? In my experience, health care practitioners can often appear uncertain, even frustrated about the most appropriate medical steps to take with these types of patients. In contrast, veterinary practitioners can never rely on verbal communication with their animal patients. To compensate for this situation, vet staff have highly developed skills, awareness and assessment capabilities that can facilitate an effective diagnosis and understanding of the animal's needs and medical condition. This book discusses the lessons that human medicine can learn from veterinary medicine.