Medical Students Learn Using Horses

Geo Beats
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Medical students learn using horses.

First year medical students at the University of Arizona Medical Center are getting a lesson in patient interaction by working with horses.

The students are taught how to approach a horse so that it doesn’t get frightened, so they can then look at vital signs or give the horse an inoculation.

This type of hands on training is designed to give the students more sensitivity when it comes to approaching human patients.

Because the horses can’t speak, they react physically to the mannerisms of the person coming towards them.

One student said: “I'm studying books instead of focusing on patient care and so this was just one class that I could do as an elective to try and better learn how to interact with animals and learn how to use my body language to interact with patients.”

Stanford University has also offered a Medicine and Horsemanship class since 2006.

Taught by equine doctors how to do a physical examination of a horse, students are given an opportunity to work with the horses and gain their trust by using physical body language cues.