Veterinary Social Worker
Dr. Tom Favale received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Iowa State University. While practicing small animal medicine his interest in animal behavior grew. Dog and cat behavior issues were addressed in the exam room and on the telephone, and while helpful for clients, it was not quite satisfying for Dr. Favale since behavior medicine was growing rapidly and he felt the need to provide behavior advice based on current research and more in-depth history taking as well as observing the pet in their own environment. In 2001 Dr. Favale was accepted into a non-conforming animal behavior residency program. While exclusively providing in-home pet behavioral consultations, he became fascinated with the interplay of family dynamics and pet behaviors.
After practicing as an associate for over twenty years he purchased a one doctor practice. The amount of time needed to run that business was overwhelming and he made the difficult decision to officially withdraw from his residency program. His interests shifted a bit to the issue of wellness in the veterinary community, especially with the struggles he faced as a sole owner. After 5 years of ownership, he sold his clinic and started working as a relief veterinarian in the Chicago area.
His interest in animal behavior, fascination with family dynamics, and the tragic suicides in the veterinary community prompted him to further his education and better serve his colleagues in the veterinary field. In 2017 he was accepted into a master’s program in social work at Loyola University in Chicago and became a licensed social worker shortly thereafter. He is on the Veterinary Social Work team and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. His position at UT allows him to address issues surrounding mental health and wellness in the veterinary profession and continue working as a companion animal veterinarian.
Dr. Favale has special interests in providing mindful-based tools to veterinary students that can be used throughout their personal and professional lives, creating safe places together for people and their pets who experience domestic violence and exploring the interaction of family dynamics and problem behaviors in pets. In his free time, Dr. Favale enjoys all-time outdoors including orienteering.