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Results of a survey on educational and research programs in complementary and alternative veterinary medicine at veterinary medical schools in the United States

Allen M. Schoen MS, DVM1
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  • 1 Veterinary Institute for Therapeutic Alternatives, 15 Sunset Terr, Sherman, CT 06784.

Abstract

Objective—To document educational and research programs in complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) at US veterinary schools and to develop recommendations for additional curriculum development and research in these modalities.

Design—Mail questionnaire.

Sample Population—Deans, curriculum committees, and interested faculty at US veterinary schools.

Procedure—Questionnaires were mailed to personnel at all 27 US veterinary schools. Nonrespondents received a follow-up letter and telephone contact. Information was used to establish the current status of CAVM.

Results—Responses were received for 41 of 120 (34%) questionnaires. Responses were received from 23 of 27 veterinary schools, but number of respondents varied at each institution (range, 1 to 4) and some surveys were not complete. Seven of 27 US veterinary schools had an educational program in CAVM. Thirty-six (87%) respondents believed that acupuncture, nutraceuticals, nutritional supplements, and physical therapy should be included in the curriculum, 25 (61%) indicated that botanical (herbal) medicine should be included, and 25 (61%) believed that chiropractic should be included. Only 17 (44%) respondents believed that homeopathy should be included. The majority of respondents believed that CAVM should be offered as elective courses. Research in CAVM has been conducted at 6 responding schools.

Conclusions—Currently, few veterinary schools offer educational or research programs in CAVM. Veterinary schools are aware of the interest in CAVM and acknowledge a lack of educational and research programs in these areas. More veterinary schools are in the process of developing educational and research programs in various aspects of CAVM. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:502–509).