An Interview with Dr. Jacqueline C. Neilson - Veterinary Medicine
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An Interview with Dr. Jacqueline C. Neilson


What part of your work do you enjoy most?

I love lecturing and conducting clinical research. Lecturing is satisfying because it is an opportunity to provide information to people who can make a difference in the lives of many pets and their people. Clinical research is rewarding because it allows you to pose a question, collect data, and discover the answer. Currently, I'm working on several projects regarding cats' litter box preferences.

What do you consider the greatest threat to the profession?

One threat is a lack of participation in our professional organizations. Organized veterinary medicine provides an avenue for us to significantly impact public policy as it relates to animals. A lack of leadership or participation at every level (local to national) could have a deleterious effect on animals and our profession.

Which animal health needs are currently unmet?

Providing diagnostic and treatment advice for behavioral problems in many pets. Abnormal or unacceptable behavior kills more pets each year than any other disease process, yet there are fewer than 50 board-certified veterinary behaviorists in the country. We need to make behavioral medicine part of the curriculum at every veterinary college.

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

I hope we continue to extend the expected life span of dogs and cats and we take some bold stances in the arena of animal welfare, such as outlawing cosmetic surgical procedures.

What is your sci–fi prediction for veterinary medicine?

We will be able to hook animals up to a machine that reads their thoughts.

What is the greatest achievement of your career?

Probably my greatest achievements occur in my behavioral referral practice when I restore a fractured pet-owner bond.

What makes a good veterinarian?

Good veterinarians never forget that they must treat both the animals and their owners.


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