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Primary Healthcare rotation boosts confidence in client interactions

Hands-on training in diagnostics, clinical skills and problem-solving is a vital part of a student veterinarian’s education, particularly in fourth year as DVM students complete rotations through a variety of areas – including internal medicine, surgery, neurology, primary healthcare – to name just a few.

Here are first-hand view rotation highlights from the Primary Healthcare rotation.

By Randy Do

The fourth year veterinary rotation at the Hills’s Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre was an invaluable three weeks of practical and applied primary healthcare learning. Honing our technical skills with physical examinations and assisting with treatments was beneficial, but the true wealth of the rotation was the primary clinician role we held.

Taking the lead in managing individual cases from start to finish in this private practice setting was a great way to teach students how to think like clinicians and create diagnostic and treatment plans for their patients. The staff veterinarians were incredible mentors and encouraged each of us to come to our own conclusions after gathering information from clients and combining it with objective examination details.

This safe learning environment enabled students to ask questions and offer ideas without intimidation. Overall, it has certainly boosted my confidence in my ability to communicate with clients, identify an accurate problem list, create a differential diagnoses list, and recommend relevant diagnostic tests or treatments.

Additionally, the collaboration with fellow students, veterinarians and veterinary technicians has helped me to recognize the value and importance of a good team dynamic as it helps with facilitating better patient care and increasing productivity.