A new--naked--side of holistic veterinary medicine

A new--naked--side of holistic veterinary medicine

Veterinarians go au natural for integrative medicine.
Nov 14, 2013

It started out as a joke.

Margo Roman, DVM, and her fellow American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) members were at a retreat a couple of years ago brainstorming ideas on how to bring attention to integrative medicine. Someone brought up the movie “Calendar Girls”—a comedy about a group of women who made a nude calendar to raise money for leukemia research—and everyone had a good chuckle.

Then, Roman says, they all starting thinking, ‘We could do something similar with veterinarians!’

“You can make people remember your message when you scare them or when you make them laugh,” says Roman, owner of Main St. Animal Services of Hopkinton (MASH) in Hopkinton, Mass.

She decided to go with the latter option when orchestrating the Dr. ShowMore Calendars. Roman put out a call to AHVMA members asking them to bare all for a good cause. Before she knew it, Roman said she had 30 tastefully and carefully posed pictures of naked veterinarians with strategically placed props. The holistic veterinarians set up the scenes in the comfort of their own clinics, barns or pastures and most of the models had a family member or spouse take the photo with the animal of their choice.

“My husband thought this was a stupid idea at first,” says Roman—who’s featured topless in the 2011 and 2013 calendar. However, he still helped her wrangle the dogs for the shoots in her clinic.

Months and months and hundreds of hours of work later, the first Dr. ShowMore Calendar was born. Roman’s target audience? People who care about animals and the planet. She explains that the 2011 calendar showed how integrative veterinary medicine can have many modalities—acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, natural dental cleanings and so on—while the 2013 calendar is all about green veterinary medicine and highlights the need for organic and environmentally friendly animal care.

“There are things in this calendar veterinarians haven’t seen before,” Roman says.

And she’s not referring to the naked doctor peeking out of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber or the veterinarians examining horses in nothing but their sandals. She’s talking about the details about holistic care that drip from every page of the 17-month calendar covering topics from medicinal use of raw honey to ozone therapy.

“These are treatments that are nontoxic to the environment,” Roman says. “When a dog with chemotherapy pees in the yard, where does it go? It goes into the soil. If you give antibiotics to a cow and it poops in the soil, then the grass is infected.”

The calendars—which sell for $15 each—have traveled to 35 veterinary conferences and 25 veterinary schools in 18 countries. So far, Roman says the calendars have raised more than $17,000 for student scholarships and $6,000 for research in integrative medicine.

“When you say [to a client], ‘There’s nothing more you can do,’ the hope is that the calendar might open your eyes,” Roman says.

The skinny on what’s next for Dr. ShowMore

“The next version will be a book that can be promoted for more than one calendar year,” Roman says. “The theme will center on what case or animal had such an impact on you that it made you realize that there was more to veterinary medicine then what you had been taught in school.”

To expose your own integrative cases or learn more about the Dr. ShowMore calendars, visit drshowmore.org.