Recently, I started watching the television series ChicagoMed with my husband. While watching Season 2, Episode 11, resident cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Rhodes was paged to repair an atrial septal defect . . . in a panda.
At first, he stated that there was no way he could perform the surgery due to his human-only training. After receiving assurance from the panda’s owners at the Chicago Zoo and the Chinese Embassy, Dr. Rhodes remembered that the physiology of animals and humans were quite similar and took on the task. After a successful surgery, the episode ended with the beloved panda recovering on a hospital bed hooked up to monitors as if she were a human—an incredibly funny and bizarre situation to view.
Could this happen in real life? Actually, yes. In very specific situations, doctors can carry out treatment and surgery on animals through the referral and guidance of a registered veterinarian.
Although this type of situation is uncommon, it is a great reminder of how the knowledge of doctors and veterinarians overlap with one another. This concept is not only useful in television, but can also be applied when developing drugs and artificial organs or studying treatments.
The overlap of human and animal health is important to consider when studying advancements within the respective fields.
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