A growing trend among psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists, and even some medical doctors is the use of dogs in practice. Much like therapy dogs, these companion animals provide stress relief for patients. “We can’t hug patients, but patients can hug Gus,” says Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. Dr. Ramsey and his dog Gus work side by side, seeing patients in his Manhattan office.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Ramsey espouses the virtues of using dogs in practice, and explains how Gus makes a big difference for those overcome with stress or grief. After two years of bringing Gus to work, Ramsey says, “I think about Gus the way a cowboy thinks of his horse—he’s part of the job.”