A magazine for alumni and friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
All for One
By Alice H. Tin, MD, MPH, Family Medicine with Obstetrics - Resident Physician, Swedish Cherry Hill Family Medicine Residency Class of 2021, ICHS | International District Clinic
“… This is merely one example of how human, animal, and environmental health are intricately linked, forming the basis for One Health. One Health is infused into many courses. For my final paper I wrote about Nipah virus, a pathogen discovered in Malaysia in 1998. Fruit bats are a natural reservoir for the virus, and new pig farms encroaching on bat habitat brought human, livestock, and wild animals into closer proximity, inciting a spillover event. The epidemic had local and international economic consequences: 1 million pigs were culled with no financial compensation to farmers, and importation of Malaysian pigs was temporarily banned. One Health provided a framework to weave infectious diseases, virology, animal behavior, ecology, climate change, international trade, and economics together into a cohesive narrative about the emergence of Nipah virus. I was enthralled by this new paradigm, and eager to seek out other examples of One Health in practice.
In medical school I was selected to be the human health domain student representative to the executive board of the One Health Commission, a nonprofit that creates networking opportunities between professionals in various fields. I also founded the student group One Health at Brown, the first One Health group at any medical school. We hosted lectures on non-verbal communication by the Roger Williams Park Zoo vet, and joint animal vaccination and preventive health clinics with the Providence Animal Rescue League in low-income housing complexes. We piloted a program with community organizations that matched formerly homeless individuals with companion animals to promote housing stability.
In my fourth year I worked with Peter Rabinowitz, MD, MPH, at the University of Washington’s Center for One Health, to create a clinical One Health elective in Seattle to explore its relevance in everyday practice. I observed surgery on a gorilla, with both veterinarian and physician consultants; developed an animal exposure history tool and tested it in an occupational health clinic; and discussed compassion fatigue with animal lab workers. ...”