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My Approach to "The Diet Discussion"

My Approach to "The Diet Discussion"

Experience is a valuable learning tool. Sharing professional experience is one way we learn and grow and evolve our approach to patient care, inform new directions in scientific inquiry, and support each other in managing the "out of the box" cases. The NEW 2023 Perspectives Series is meant to be a more casual presentation of the practicalities of clinical practice, which don't always follow the book, are never black and white, and which must also consider the human component of patient care. I will be sharing tid-bits on my approach to integrative veterinary oncology patient care and perspectives on communication and patient management. These will be a "this is what I do and what my experience has been" flavored series of webinars, sharing practice approaches from veterinary-professional to veterinary-professional. This first topic comes from a number of requests from you. I will share how I approach the hot topic of diet, field client questions and concerns, and guide pet parents in making decisions about the right approach for their situation. My perspectives come from 20 years in clinical practice guiding pet parents through the jungle of opinions. My primary focus is on compassionate communication that is emotionally considerate of the trauma and stress my clients are navigating, and in attempting to mitigate the divisive environment that has been promoted around the topic of feeding. Balance, in all things, is required for health. It is from this perspective that I approach my discussions around feeding options. Every patient and client is a unique situation which must be considered independently of our nutritional ideologies. These two decades have seen an ever evolving dynamic around social and professional opinions, trends and information that often mirrors trends in human eating and has become encumbered by divisive speech, professional defamation among veterinary professionals and inflammatory exchanges. This dynamic is not a healthy one for our profession, for our clients, or for our patients. There is a great need for us to step out of our egos and develop our capacity to engage with respectful discussion on this topic. Everyone has their own perspectives informed by their experience, the way they interpret the available research (or lack thereof) and, if we are honest, their personal preferences on how they feed themselves and what they believe is valuable to health and healing. The world is not black and white, no matter how much we would prefer that. If you are looking for black and white, you will not find it with me. This world and the living beings in it are infinitely more complicated and multidimensional.

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