Veterinary clinic twinning program

Photo courtesy of Dr. Eileen Ball

Partnership connects U.S. and African veterinarians

An international partnership known as the AVMA-AFSCAN Twinning Program offers AVMA members and veterinarians in Africa the opportunity to connect and learn from one another.
The clinic-to-clinic initiative is a pilot program offered by the AVMA, World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Foundation, and African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN, an initiative of the WSAVA Foundation supported by Zoetis). It pairs select small companion animal veterinary clinics in AFSCAN member countries with U.S. clinics led by AVMA members, encouraging participants to discuss cases with each other and even conduct virtual clinical rounds together. In addition to partnerships between paired clinics, a community of learning connects all paired (twinned) practices and practitioners, which may include virtual grand rounds and in-person meetings.

The program aims to achieve a variety of objectives:

  • Promote sustained relationships and mutual learning that will help veterinary professionals better understand one another’s perspectives, challenges, and needs
  • Enhance small companion animal health and welfare
  • Advance understanding of disease surveillance and control
  • Promote One Health concepts
  • Provide international engagement opportunities for AVMA member veterinarians and veterinarians in AFSCAN member countries

What is expected of participants?

Participating clinics:

  • Identify one veterinarian who will be the point person (primary veterinarian) for the Twinning Program and manage program activities for the clinic. Primary veterinarian responsibilities may be shared between two veterinarians, but each needs to be identified during the application process. Additional members of the clinic’s healthcare team, including other veterinarians as well as veterinary technicians/nurses, may participate in all or some Twinning Program activities.
  • Develop goals for participating in the program. Goals can (and should) be both for the clinic and for participating members of the clinic’s veterinary care team.

Primary veterinarians:

  • Make the following time commitments:
    • At least 1 hour per month for virtual clinical rounds with the paired clinic and animal healthcare team members, plus any time needed to prepare case presentations
    • At least 1 hour per month for less formal communications with the paired clinic and practitioner (e.g., via chat, WhatsApp, phone, text, email) regarding cases, clinic management, general questions, or any other program-related business
    • At least 1 hour per quarter for virtual grand rounds with all twinned clinics and practitioners plus the program coordinator.
  • Develop a brief written report to be submitted to the program coordinator at the end of each quarter summarizing the clinic’s overall twinning activities for that quarter. Summaries will be shared with program partners.

Who is eligible to participate?

This opportunity is available to a limited number of clinics in the U.S. and AFSCAN member countries.

Participating clinics must be predominantly or exclusively focused on small companion animals. There are no other restrictions on practice type; the program is open to general, emergency, and specialty practice clinics.

Each primary veterinarian should be an AVMA member (U.S. clinics) or a member of the national or small animal veterinary association of the AFSCAN member country in which the clinic is located. They must also have reliable access to high-speed internet and a computer, tablet, or smartphone with video/camera capability, and be familiar with virtual communication and document sharing platforms such as GoToMeeting, WhatsApp, Skype, DropBox, and GoogleDocs.

How does a clinic apply?

Clinics in the U.S. or AFSCAN member countries should complete and submit this application form after reviewing the requirements and expectations.

Applications must be received by midnight Central Time on April 1, 2020.

Applications are open for clinics interested in participating.

Apply now



Need more information?

Email us with any questions about the AVMA-AFSCAN Twinning Program or the application process:

  • U.S.-based clinics: Contact Dr. Beth Sabin, AVMA director of global outreach

    esabinatavma [dot] org (esabin[at]avma[dot]org)
  • African-based clinics: Contact Dr. Kevin Stevens, Twinning Program coordinator

    kvetateastcoast [dot] co [dot] za (kvet[at]eastcoast[dot]co[dot]za)


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