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The CAVM list is for the discussion of alternative and complementary therapies in veterinary medicine. This is sometimes referred to as holistic veterinary medicine, but complementary and alternative therapies may or may not be holistic. Holistic really refers to the treatment of the whole animal by considering all factors that may be affecting the animal’s health. Such factors include the animal’s environment, its diet, its humans and other animals that it comes into contact with on a daily basis. The holistic approach to therapy may include only conventional therapies, but could include alternative or complementary therapies such as acupuncture or herbs or homeopathy.

The CAVM list is a closed list. It is open to veterinarians, physicians, and those holding a doctoral degree in one of the medical basic sciences, such as biochemistry or physiology or anatomy, preferably with an academic appointment.  It is also open to veterinary students on a case-by-case basis.