Practicing across the spectrum of care involves the ability to provide a wide range of care options that meet the needs of both the patient and the client. This includes being able to tailor care options to a socioeconomically diverse clientele. Veterinarians have been practicing across the spectrum of care for many years. So why has the phrase "spectrum of care" recently become a focal point in discussions?
Providing equitable and accessible veterinary care has become a major concern for veterinary medicine. Spectrum of care has been identified as one strategy to help address issues surrounding access to care: If veterinarians can provide a wider range of care options for more patients, this can help increase accessibility of care for a larger population of pets.
The veterinary profession faces the challenge of ensuring that its graduates are prepared to provide care options in the face of client limitations.
Recognizing this challenge, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has launched the Spectrum of Care Initiative (SOCI).
This initiative aims to support colleges of veterinary medicine as they reshape clinical education to better prepare graduates for the multifaceted demands of real-world practice. This involves teaching the skills and knowledge required to provide a wide range of care options contextualized not only to patient needs, but also to client factors such as financial constraints. Preparing students with these skills will better prepare graduates for the realities of practice and to meet the needs of a socioeconomically diverse clientele.
The AAVMC Spectrum of Care Initiative needs your help
The AAVMC-SOCI is conducting a pilot project to identify the skills and knowledge necessary for students in their training programs to manage common canine conditions. To achieve this goal, the AAVMC seeks input from primary care practitioners to identify the essential skills and knowledge required for new graduates to effectively practice across the spectrum of care and offer a wide range of care options to a diverse population of animal owners.
While all primary care practitioners are encouraged to participate, the AAVMC is especially interested in insights from those experienced in delivering a broad range of care options to meet the needs of a socioeconomically diverse clientele, especially in economically challenged areas.
One aim of the project is to compare the skills and knowledge that practitioners believe graduates should possess with the skills and knowledge that students are learning in their DVM programs. The goal is to assess the alignment between the two. Ultimately, this process will help academic training programs better connect with workforce realities and create opportunities for practitioners to provide feedback to programs on new graduate preparedness.
Minimal time commitment
Participants in the AAVMC-SOCI will be official members of the SOCI Advisory Community. We aim to make your participation as easy as possible given your busy schedules. Therefore, your participation will involve the following:
- Responding to occasional requests for feedback regarding the knowledge and skills that students should be taught in veterinary colleges to best prepare them for day-one practice
- Attending the SOCI Advisory Community quarterly virtual meetings (attendance is optional, but encouraged if it fits in your schedule)
How to get involved
If you are passionate about shaping the future of veterinary education and want to contribute your valuable perspective, we invite you to join this initiative by filling out this form. If you have questions or want to learn more about the project, please contact Dr. Julie Noyes at jnoyesaavmc [dot] org (jnoyes[at]aavmc[dot]org).
Together, we can work to bridge any gaps between academic training programs and the evolving landscape of veterinary practice, ensuring that graduates are equipped to provide a spectrum of care that meets the diverse needs of clients and their beloved pets. Your collaboration will not only benefit the profession, but also pave the way for a more inclusive and accessible future for veterinary care.