We had a quick sit down with Dr. Karin Cannizzo about her thoughts on vet med, cancer treatments, and Healing Pets Foundation.
SCVIM: You’ve graduated from vet school over 20 years ago and you have been with SCVIM for 18 years. What has surprised you?
KC: The biggest surprise for me is that I am more in love with the job than ever. I am like most folks in veterinary medicine, I was drawn by helping animals. I consider my biggest career success has been cultivating relationships with people- that is the surprise! I think medicine has become easier with experience, helping people becomes more complex as you extend more of yourself.
SCVIM: Tell us more about what has changed…
KC: Being a veterinarian is hard, and I think it has gotten even harder through this time. There are more medical options than ever but so much of the costs of veterinary medicine are pulled with escalating with human health care costs. People outside of veterinary medicine don’t see this relationship and don’t realize that the syringe, the medication or the diagnostic equipment is probably the same that their doctor would use on them and come they all come to us with the same costs. I hate that human health care costs are affecting veterinary medicine more and more.
SCVIM: What can be done to help with the costs of medical care?
KC: Well, for example with cancer treatments for pets. We have some great treatment options to keep pets feeling good, but they come with costs. Appropriate training and safety equipment to protect our staff, medication costs (several new medications are under patent), time for evaluation, care and administration all add up. New pharmacy regulations are coming this year that are going to drive these costs even higher. We do the best we can to control the costs but so much is out of our control. We often help clients find outside financial resources.
SCVIM: What financial resources are there for cancer patients?
KC: We work most often with 2 non-profit organizations. Healing Pets Foundation provides financial support based on financial need for specialty care, and their support is independent of prognosis and not limited to cancer treatment. Magic Bullet Fund is dedicated to helping with cancer treatments.
SCVIM You are quite involved with Healing Pets Foundation. Can others get involved?
KC: Healing Pets was “born” at SCVIM but we are so proud that it is 501(c)3 official and not limited to SCVIM. We are open to provide support for all types of board-certified specialty care for dogs and cats. We can help more pets get the care their families want. For me supporting the mission is easy, but I guess my biggest struggle in leading the organization is recruiting more help! We would love help in reviewing applications and creating community awareness. Ha! I guess when I said my biggest success is improved people relationships, I should have specified I’m still a “Work in Progress” when it comes to my natural introversion!