An Interview with... Dr. Michael J. Blackwell - Veterinary Medicine
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An Interview with... Dr. Michael J. Blackwell


What is your favorite film and why?
One of my favorite films is Instinct. It's the story of a world-renowned psychiatrist who travels to Africa to study mountain gorillas and, in the end, learns more about being human by having studied these beautiful creatures.

What do you consider the greatest threat to the profession?
The greatest threat is the general lack of understanding of our profession's role in human health. We are in a medical profession, and if human health is to advance, it's going to be in part because of the veterinary profession. That's always been true, it is true today, and it will be true tomorrow.

What changes in veterinary medicine do you hope will occur in the next 100 years?
I hope veterinary medicine will bridge the gap between the human animal and the rest of the animal kingdom. The evolution of medicine has created this gap because physicians choose not to address, or are incapable of addressing, animal health needs. Veterinarians have the training to address some human health concerns, but as we define our role in society, we stay far away.

But in the future, some veterinarians will possess special training and licensure similar to that of a physician assistant today. These veterinarians will address the primary healthcare needs of all family members and, of course, make appropriate referrals to other professionals as needed. We must completely embrace our comparative medicine training and our role in human health.


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