PHYSICIAN PROFILE An Advocate for Patients and Animals Josie Kinkade, M.D.
Josie Kinkade, M.D., stopped practicing medicine in 2004 to help animals full time. She first got involved with PCRM to end the University of Virginia’s use of dogs to teach emergency trauma procedures.
“Watching the university go from absolute entrenchment in this cruel practice to stopping it within a few months was a real eye opener,” says Dr. Kinkade. “Ever since then, I have been a fan and supporter of PCRM.”
Dr. Kinkade began her career as a family doctor in rural Louisa, Va. There, she formed a support group for women in abusive relationships and worked with an organization to assist people without insurance who could not get Medicaid. She also dreamed of starting an organization to help people with diabetes, but she lacked resources.
“My biggest disappointment in medicine was the overemphasis of medication and underemphasis of lifestyle changes,” explains Dr. Kinkade. “But there was a dearth of support for this notion.”
Currently a physician advisor assisting hospitals with Medicare compliance, Dr. Kinkade spends much of her time helping animals.
Earlier this year she co-signed a PCRM federal complaint against UVA for using live cats for endotracheal intubation in its pediatrics training. This includes repeatedly forcing a plastic tube through the mouth and into the trachea of a live cat. Animals used in this training procedure can suffer tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, and severe pain, and they are at risk of death.
“It is unnecessary to traumatize and harm animals to teach pediatric emergency procedures, especially when validated simulators developed to replace animals are widely used,” says Dr. Kinkade. “A newborn’s anatomy is different from a cat’s, and residents at UVA can get a better education using human patient simulators.”
The same friend who introduced Dr. Kinkade to PCRM’s campaign against dog use for trauma training also introduced her to a vegan diet.
“I sat down one afternoon in my living room and watched The Peaceable Kingdom,” explains Dr. Kinkade. “My husband came home to find me in tears, and our household has been vegan ever since.”
She says a whole-food, plant-based diet has helped her lose weight and feel great, and her husband’s cholesterol dropped dramatically.