Sunday, September 16, 2012

Specialized Veterinary Communication Training for Vet Dr. Bacon

Dr. Bacon attends Pfizer Frank Veterinary Communication Training Program

As part of my training to serve as a student mentor for 2nd and 3rd year veterinary students at The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Laura Bacon attended the Pfizer Frank Veterinary Communication Workshop on July 11, 2012.

The Pfizer Frank Veterinary Communication Program is an interactive course designed to help veterinarians improve their client communication skills. The program is based on over 30 years of medical communication research which has shown that shared decision making between client and veterinarian can improve patient outcome while also improving client satisfaction. The course is divided into specific modules and uses a variety of teaching methods, including small group interaction, simulation exercises, brainstorming, and open discussion.

I found the course to be extremely interesting and thought-provoking and I left the workshop excited to put my new skills into practice! While I know I am particularly empathetic and sympathetic for my clients, I have learned new ways to better understand my client's needs and wants and to encourage them to better express themselves. Some particular skills we worked on include the use of empathetic statements (reflecting the emotions displayed by my clients), allowing for reflective pauses to give my clients time to express themselves, and asking open-ended questions, which can also allow my clients the chance to tell their stories without being "led" in one direction or another.

After 12 years of practicing veterinary medicine (wow, has it really been that long?) I can honestly say that I am still passionate about caring for the wonderful animals in my care and the people who love them. If I can further improve my communication skills, I can better care for my furry patients, and continue to strengthen the human-animal bond.

In August, I will attend 2 more days of training and practice sessions for my mentor position at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Stay tuned for future updates!

Laura Devlin Bacon DVM DABVP (Canine / Feline Practice)

Read more or contact Dr. Bacon:
Laura Devlin Bacon, DVM DABVP
Knoxville, Tennessee

Dr. Bacon assists families with pet hospice and in-home euthanasia in the Greater Knoxville Area, including Farragut, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Clinton, Luttrell, Maryville, Sevierville, and Dandridge.


  1. Do you generally write for your blog or you do this for some other online or offline networks?

    1. Hi Scientific Awesomeness... all of the Lap of Love vets write their own blogs for our company blog. Some of us have written articles/blogs for other networks on the topic of end of life care for companion animals.

      Dr. Mary


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