Consultation Style: Are You Following Best Practices?
Veterinary schools have shifted consult emphasis toward a client-communication model (ie, Calgary-Cambridge model). In this study, 48 private practice consultation video recordings were reviewed for content and timing and then coded to create structural consult models. There were 3 appointment types; new appointment or presentation, recheck, and routine. Appointments largely involved dogs and cats (66%), female owners (71%), and female veterinarians (60%). Mean appointment length was 11.45 minutes (range, 4–28 minutes), with problem and recheck appointments requiring 14 and 13 minutes, respectively. Most appointments took an iterative approach that led to 71% exceeding necessary history-taking. An increase in time budgeting is needed, so that the client has informed consent and cost estimate. In addition, history and physical examination were often interwoven as the patient’s history was developed. Although veterinarians adapt to iterative methods of consultation, it is not clear that this improves appointment outcomes related to client perception and appropriate diagnoses.
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