Posted July 15, 2008
In his farewell address to the American Medical Association's House of Delegates June 14, Ronald M. Davis, MD, spoke about the AMA's new relationship with the AVMA and his association's support of the one-health concept. At the time of the speech, Dr. Davis was completing his one-year term as AMA president. Two facts, he said, underscore the importance of physicians and veterinarians working together: "Of the roughly 1,500 diseases now recognized in humans, about 60 percent are due to multi-host pathogens that move across species. And, during the past three decades, three-quarters of newly emerging human infectious diseases have been zoonotic—animal diseases transmitted to humans." Former AVMA President Roger M. Mahr explained it best, Dr. Davis, continued, when he said, "'The convergence of human and ecosystem health dictates that the one world, one health, one medicine concept must be embraced.' Humans, animals, and the environment we inhabit are linked together in the circle of life."