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Letter from Dr. Donna Raditic

Clinical Trials & Research 3 min read
Letter from Dr. Donna Raditic

To the NHV Family the future sparkles…..

I spent this weekend teaching veterinary students about nutrition, supplements, botanicals, and how to think outside the box.  By my side was the first Integrative Medicine Fellow, Dr. Danielle Conway, who lectured on pet diets and ecological sustainability. During these lectures, it confirmed my belief that students are eager to learn new ideas. And I must say that it is thrilling to watch Dr. Conway and realize that because of your support of me, I was here seeing an idea become reality. We told this next generation of veterinarians, “Never forget your patients are someone’s children.” As you have always challenged me to be the best, learn more and look for new solutions, Dr. Conway and I will challenge them.

The Fellowship Program is my response to challenges; it is the foundation for change in veterinary education. We will make a difference in the veterinary profession by enlightening young minds on alternative modalities, nutrition and by continuing to provide opportunities through an Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program.

The Integrative Medicine service stands along with conventional medical services here, but we do it a little differently. We offer supplements, botanicals, acupuncture, cold laser, nutrition, and more for our patients. I will often tell the students “Have a plan A, B, C and plan X, Y, Z with a backup A1, B2, and C3.”  We never run out of ideas to treat our patients and improve their health and quality of life.

As conventional veterinarians, we are all taught how to problem solve, but when you add to that integrative thinking we learn the art of our profession. We learn our patients are all individuals and disease in one is not quite the same disease in the next, despite the conventional diagnostics.

Our students learn to think outside the box, explore other medicine systems and realize that caring for a patient is an honor. We talk about ‘thoughtful therapies’ and how to be an artist weaving conventional medicine with complementary modalities into individualized treatment plans. And we use objective measurements to determine if our plans are successful. It is not good enough to say our patients feel better- we want to see lab values improve, increased mobility, a longer life span, and/or improved quality of life.

Now working with me, I have our first Integrative Medicine Fellow, Dr. Conway aka Dr. Sparkles as she is fondly nicknamed. Together, with veterinary students and other hospital specialists, we combine the best of conventional and complementary therapies. The journey continues and it will expand as the true ‘standard of care.’

This future I see is huge-it will not only benefit our animals, but through translational medicine, One Health Movement, Health & Nutrition literacy programs-I know mankind will benefit, too. Our animals make us more human; this connection cannot be broken.  I smile as Dr. Conway lectures on how can we feed our beloved animal companions and sustain safe, food sources for all of us. Yes, we are here to show all – this big picture.

Your kind support of me, Dr. Conway, Matthew, and the Fellowship program is appreciated. Older medicine systems are alive today because they work. A treatment may never be the next billion dollars pharmaceutical, but it can ease discomfort, improve health and even prevent disease. Integrative medicine includes nutrition, supplements, herbs, acupuncture, massage, and other complementary therapies. NHV herb formulas have found a place in our ‘other black medicine bag’ and we appreciate your support of our service.

Kind regards,

Dr. Donna Raditic

Donna M. Raditic DVM, DACVN, CVA
Clinical Assistant Professor
Integrative Medicine
Nutrition Service
The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

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Published: December 20, 2014

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