Winter 2016

Words To Live By

140723_12687_kochevar066.jpgEach year, after receiving their diplomas, our graduating veterinary medical students recite the veterinary medical oath:

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. 

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. 

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

Key phrases in the oath offer a window into the priorities of the veterinary profession and the complexity of the relationships among animals, people, society and the environment.

Scientific knowledge and skills, advancement of medical knowledge, and professional knowledge and competence underpin the importance of evidence-based practices in veterinary medicine. The breadth of scientific investigation in the field is tremendous. In this issue, you’ll read about faculty, student and alumni studies that address topics as diverse as environmental toxins, wasting disease in sea stars and opioid abuse in adolescents.

Protection of animal health and welfare and prevention and relief of animal suffering are also prominent themes in the oath and are of particular significance at Cummings School. Years ago, former Dean Frank Loew conceived and established the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts. The work of the center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked, and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships. The article “Pet Project” in this issue highlights how faculty like Emily McCobb, D.V.M., and our students are dedicated to outreach that improves animal and human lives in underserved communities.

The themes of conservation of animal resources and promotion of public health converge in our cover story about the essential relationship between the veterinarian and small producers. The commitment of Gene White, D.V.M., and his Tufts Ambulatory Service colleagues to lifelong learning and continual improvement translates to practices that help a rural farm family provide wholesome products to consumers.

Each class of our veterinary medical graduates is special, and it is a point of pride that they go out and practice conscientiously and with dignity. I hope you enjoy this issue of our magazine and reading about the veterinary oath in action.

Deborah Turner Kochevar, D.V.M., PH.D.
Dean and Henry and Lois Foster Professor



Top Stories

Betting the Farm

Fifty years ago, there were 1,600 dairy farms in Connecticut. Today there are 120. Those that remain are in a constant struggle for survival. Here’s the story of how one family farm, now in its fourth generation, is fighting to innovate and grow with the help of a Cummings School vet

Parrot Sanctuary

These dazzlingly beautiful, yet unwanted birds reclaim a piece of their natural life

Pet Project

A surprising number of animal owners have little or no access to veterinary care, so this Tufts program brings the care to them

The Toxin Avenger

Meet the vet school alum who keeps us safe from dangerous chemicals

Editor's Picks

5 Ways to Protect Your Pet from Lyme Disease

Cats don't get it, but the bacteria can cause real problems for dogs

Backyard Battles

The unhappy convergence of suburbia and wildlife

Cancer Genetics

Two malignancies common in golden retrievers share similar DNA markers

Dolphin Rescuers

Veterinary student’s research could improve survival rates for stranded animals

Gorilla Docs

Wildlife veterinarians work with their African partners to protect the endangered animals

The Genetics of Bloat

Researchers hope their work will help predict which dogs may get the deadly disease

Thoroughbred Doc

Along the backstretch of Belmont Park, Russell Cohen, V87, is having the time of his life