American Indian Studies Program

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When the Patient is a Dog… (or a Horse, or a Cow, or an Elephant): Cultural Dimensions of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

Event Type
Center for Advanced Study
Levis Faculty Center, Room 208 (919 W. Illinois St.)
Apr 17, 2018   8:30 am  
Originating Calendar
Center for Advanced Study


Jane Desmond
Department of Anthropology and Gender & Women's Studies, CAS Associate 2016-17

How do you find the heartbeat on a snake? Can a dog tell you what’s hurting? How do you do a vasectomy on an elephant? (hint–very carefully!)  These are some of the questions that veterinarians face that their peers in human medicine do not. As veterinarians say: “Real Doctors Treat More than One Species!” In this project, based on extensive fieldwork in labs, classrooms, and clinics, Professor Desmond will analyze some of the key differences between clinical medicine for humans and that for animals to suggest that despite the surface similarities of white coats and stethoscopes, critical differences emerge in nearly every dimension of medical practice from diagnosis to treatment to finances when the patient is a non-human animal.

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