A Unique One Health Perspective


Individuals holding degrees in veterinary medicine (DVM/VMD) and human medicine (MD)

See comments below by Leonard C. Marcus, VMD, MD,  Larry R. Anderson, DVM, MD, Carey L. Renken, MD, (DVM Candidate), Steven W. Atwood, VMD, MD, MRCVS, MPH (Candidate) and Stephen F. Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD.



Quoted from an ‘introduction to One Health’ speech presented January 11, 2008 to a group of retired and semi-retired physicians at the Sarasota(Florida, USA) Friendship Center (by Bruce Kaplan, DVM): 

John McFadyean’s first love was veterinary medicine, receiving his veterinary medical diploma from Edinburgh veterinary school in 1876. He graduated from medical school in 1882 and received his science degree in 1883.  McFadyean wanted degrees in Medicine and Science to prepare himself for an academic career in pathology and microbiology, grounded in the work of Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur. Although enthralled with the genius and  discoveries of Koch, e.g. the famous Koch’s postulates … McFadayean respectfully challenged Koch’s erroneous  assertion that Bovine TB was of little, if any concern, in its transmission to humans via milk and milk products.  Over a ten year span, Dr. McFadyean was proved correct and he was subsequently knighted in 1905 for his service  to veterinary science and agriculture and for his brilliant work on the royal commission on TB.  He devoted his life to teaching pathology and anatomy, developing the field of veterinary research and administering the London veterinary school. To this day, laboratory diagnosis of Anthrax can be confirmed by demonstrating the organism in blood, lesions or discharges using McFadyean’s methylene blue stain for the bacillus capsule.”

 Slide by Thomas P. Monath, MD

1.        Pattison, I. John Mcfadyean, Founder of Modern Veterinary Research. J.A. Allen 1981.
2.        Dunlop, R.H. & Williams, D.J. 1996.  Veterinary Medicine: an illustrated history.

            Mosby, New York. Pp. 399-401.

Comments from modern day professional descendents of Dr. McFadyean…

Dr. Leonard C. Marcus on September 18, 2009:

 “One medicine” [now referred to as One Health] is a valuable theoretical concept. Its value and practical limitations are outlined in a presentation I gave at the North American Veterinary Conference in 2004 and published under the title, Physician-Veterinarian Interaction: Why Do We Need It, How Can We Do It? in Bayer Zoonosis Symposium, supplement to Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, vol. 26, No. 5a, 2004, pages 8-11. This article reflects my current thoughts and feelings about this issue.

I initially became a veterinarian as a way to combine my interest in biology and medicine. I became increasingly interested in specific aspects of comparative medicine, including evolution of pathogens and host response to them. I also developed an interest in parasitology and zoonoses and ultimately decided I wanted to care for human patients in these areas.  My veterinary medical background gave me unique insights and was invaluable in my professional work.


Leonard C. Marcus, VMD, MD
1555 Commonwealth Av
Newton, MA 02465-2800



Dr. Larry R. Anderson on September 22, 2009:


“I fully support One Health because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO!  Resources are limited and only by fulfilling the One Health Mission of collaborative efforts will we, as a society, be able to feed a growing world population and also help protect the health of people, animals, and the environment.


As a young boy I had a love of farm life.  My farm animals-exposure to exceptional veterinarian role models and a family tradition at Kansas State University shifted my career choice from considering human medicine to veterinary medicine.  As the only veterinarian (D.V.M.) at a U. S. Air Force base, my work with 26 physician colleagues caused me to again re-consider a career in human medicine.  Since obtaining my medical degree (M.D.), I have greatly enjoyed the rural general/family practice of medicine.  Training in veterinary medicine provided a useful knowledge base and stepping stone toward my pursuits in becoming a family practice physician taking care of people.”



Larry R. Anderson, DVM, MD  

Sumner County Family Care Center, PA

1323 North A

Wellington, KS 67152




Dr. Carey L. Renken on September 23, 2009:


I was a die-hard student, resident and pediatric practitioner (pediatrician).  I had no concept of “rest” or identity outside of medicine.  However, I experienced a severe depression in the early 2000’s and, encountered serious emotional difficulties that anyone suffering from that illness can certainly understand as do physicians who treat depression patients.


During this trying period, I had a unique experience with my 1 year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sophiel.  She seemed to sense not only my distress, but appeared to know when and what to do to “intervene.”  For instance, if my energy level was low enough not to get out of bed, Sophie would stand on my chest, put her face directly into mine and stare me in the face until I smiled or got up.  If I ignored her she would tap my arm until I either smiled or got up.  She never needed anything except to get me moving and smiling.  For a “science-minded” professional it took me a long time to believe she could perceive such human complexities but I now have no doubt she saved my life. 


After I recovered I decided to pursue veterinary medicine as a career.  In particular, I began investigating the human-animal bond and was amazed at the growing number of people and organizations focusing on the H.A.B.  The correlation between child/domestic abuse and animal abuse is compelling.  I have also seen the use of amazing animal-assisted therapy with children and have great hope that this modality may be highly useful in treating disorders such as attachment disorders in adopted children and bonding for children with autism. Out of this knowledge I was also drawn to the issues of zoonoses and common toxicology issues-especially in light of the long standing and growing public opinion that pets are members of the family leading to closer physical contact between people and companion animals. 


After reviewing the One Health Initiative website with its plethora of pertinent News and Publications items, I am now convinced that “One Health” represents the best hope for the future of health and health care for our society (worldwide)!


Carey L. Renken, MD (DVM Candidate)

1423 Roosevelt Avenue

Ames, IA 50010


Note: Dr. Renken earned her medical degree (MD) at the University of Nebraska, College of Medicine in 1994.  She is currently a 3rd year student pursuing her DVM degree in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.




Dr. Steven W. Atwood on September 28, 2009:


The development and implementation of the One Health concept provides a formal outlet for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and information that was long overdue.  Educational publications and launching of a One Health Initiative website by Drs. Tom Monath, Bruce Kaplan, and Laura Kahn are to be applauded.


In these times of contracting global resources, collaborative ventures that bridge disciplines that have been historically separated, seems a logical way to increase progress toward answering many of health cares most vexing questions.


From a young age I had always had an interest in both veterinary and human medicine having been exposed early on to relatives practicing in each field as well as to our own family veterinarian and family general practitioner, both of whom I admired greatly. So it was no surprise that after college I began studies at the University of Pennsylvania—a place where the One Medicine [now commonly referred to as One Health] philosophy was well developed, encouraged and promoted between the Schools of Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Dental Medicine and Nursing.


In my case, the synergy of comparative medicine concepts were made real to me during the time, as a veterinary medical student, I was lucky enough to spend in the clinics and operating rooms of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the School of Medicine. Pursuing degrees in veterinary medicine, medicine and now public health, has been my attempt to come as close as I could to completing a broad medical education that would allow me, in an interdisciplinary way, the option to explore various interests as they develop, here in the U.S. and/or elsewhere.


Steven W. Atwood, VMD, MD, MRCVS, MPH (Candidate)

Animal Health Care Associates, Ltd.

Martha's Vineyard Airport

Post Office Box 681

West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard,

Massachusetts, 02575




Dr. Stephen F. Badylak on September 29, 2009


One Health is more than a collection of individuals, an organized approach to medicine, or a therapeutic strategy.  One Health is a way of thinking about development, disease, diagnosis, and therapy.  The better we understand evolution, mechanisms involved in the transmission of infectious disease, and biologic responses to pathogens and traumatic injury, the better we will be able to recognize the similarities in these fundamental concepts across species lines.  One Health provides a forum for identifying and capitalizing upon these common features. 


Stephen F. Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
450 Technology Drive, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA  15219