The Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)

The veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is the basis for interaction among veterinarians, their clients, and their patients.  A VCPR means that all of the following are required:

  1. The veterinarian has assumed responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the patient and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarians' instructions.
  2. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the patient to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the patient. This means that the veterinarian is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the patient by virtue of a timely examination of the patient by the veterinarian, animal(s), or medically appropriate and timely visits by the veterinarian to the operation where the patient is managed.
  3. The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation or has arranged for the following: veterinary emergency coverage, and continuing care and treatment.
  4. The veterinarian provides oversight of treatment, compliance, and outcome.
  5. Patient records are maintained.

Relevant AVMA Policy:

Additional Resources:

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