We had a good conversation about our respective levels of education, and how we both monitor antibiotic resistance and sensitivity as part of our professional activity.

I think I surprised her, and myself, about how much common ground we had on this issue.

She took the time to listen and learn, and she admitted that she had a misconception or two. I listened to her take on the issue. Her perspective is that humans and animals are part of the same biome, and it is important to elevate the position and responsibility of the veterinarian to ensure human safety. She was adamant about trained veterinary medical professionals playing the critical oversight role because of the importance of antibiotic use in food-producing animals.

Go figure. We were in agreement.

From this conversation, I learned that people outside the veterinary industry have more of a vested interest in how we conduct our business than I initially thought. If there are misconceptions about our industry, it might be our own fault.

I encourage all livestock veterinarians to get involved in this conversation and be more vocal about the important role we play in food-animal medicine. We can’t be having these conversations in a vacuum. By extending the discussion around antimicrobial concerns to the greater medical community, we can better work together to capitalize on our respective industry strengths to overcome the challenges of the future.

John Groves DVM, Eldon, MO, has been in private practice for 17 years, focusing on large, progressive registered and commercial herds with emphasis in production efficiency optimization in all phases of management. Groves also works with backgrounding operations that range from short-term starting operations to grazing and retained ownership programs.


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