An Interview with... Dr. Patricia N. Olson - Veterinary Medicine
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An Interview with... Dr. Patricia N. Olson


What part of your work do you enjoy most?

Relative to Morris Animal Foundation, it's the opportunity to help all animals and to do so with a dedicated staff and trustees and Foundation friends who all share that goal. I can go home each day and say, "Today I worked to help the animals on our planet." That's so cool.

What do you consider the greatest threat to the profession?

The possibility of losing our humanity. According to Gallup polls, veterinary medicine is one of the most trusted professions. We need to make a good income, but we can't become so driven by the dollar that animals receive less care.

Which animal health needs are currently unmet?

Many needs aren't being met. At Morris Animal Foundation, we're interested in cancer and are building a consortium to work on this problem. I've also devoted much of my professional life to solving pet overpopulation. Wildlife species also face huge challenges. Although these animals may not come to a veterinary clinic, as a profession we're responsible for endangered species.

What changes in veterinary medicine do you hope will occur in the next 100 years?

Genetic technologies may be used to diagnose and treat disease. We could tailor individual therapies based on unique genetic profiles. I hope that veterinarians will become the ultimate advocates for animal welfare and will lead the way in establishing innovative ways of preventing and curing disease.


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