The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality

Books on Tape. Mar. 2023. 9:03 hrs. ISBN 9780593668382. $85.50. PETS
Fine narrates her debut memoir, sharing the lessons she’s learned through her career as a veterinarian. She attended veterinary school at Tufts University in the late 1980s, when women especially struggled for professional recognition and faced discrimination from people who believed they were taking positions from men. Settling into her practice, she gained experience with a wide range of animals and adopted her own pets along the way. She instituted creative approaches to care, including launching a mobile vet to provide people and their pets with at-home care and training in acupuncture and alternative medicines. Fine movingly describes how her connection with her pets informed her practice and gave her insight into the struggles her patients and pet owners were experiencing. When her pets faced illness and death, she gained a better understanding of the impact of a pet’s death on its owners and on the vet as well. Much of the book concentrates on Fine’s sensitive conclusions about end-of-life care for pets, owners’ grief, euthanasia, and burn-out and suicide in veterinarians.
VERDICT A heartfelt and moving book for listeners who enjoy animal stories and insights into connections between humans and animals.
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