A day in the life of a Harvard medical student invariably involves patients — but now sometimes they might not be the human variety.
Three years ago, a member of Zoo New England’s leadership team hit on a novel concept. Why not form a collaboration between Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo and a medical school, which would enable med students to get a close-up look at exotic animals?
After a Harvard med student approached him with a similar idea, Harvard’s One Health Clinical Elective was born. As medical students work with zoo veterinarians on cases involving pandas to pelicans and gorillas to geckos, they gain insight into diseases shared with people while also discovering some of the animals’ unique coping mechanisms.
What better way to understand the global interdependence of people, animals and ecosystems that makes up One Health?