Contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals. Dogs? That just goes without saying. The...
Acting in Accordance With VCPR
Tell us. Do you not care much about going back to the same doctor?
If so, it’s time to face the music. Because, as it turns out, seeing the same physician leads to a longer, healthier life.
Think about it
The wonders of a well-founded relationship between a doctor and a patient shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the more time physicians spend getting to know the patients, the better understanding they’ll have of each individual's unique needs and priorities.
The same goes for pets. Vets must have a thorough grasp of the pets they’re dealing with before coming to conclusions. And no matter how skilled or experienced they may be, such a level of understanding won’t come about after a single virtual session.
Hence the reason why the law mandates Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) in most states.
Now, before getting into the nuts and bolts, let us make this clear. The rule of law is deemed sacred here at Dr. Tail. Though it’s our duty to help pet owners find the care their furry friends need, we wouldn’t dare to cross any legal boundaries in the process.
VCPR isn’t beset by nuances and ambiguities, as is the case for plenty of other legal protocols. It’s just a fancy term for grounds on which the relationship between the veterinarian of record (VoR) and the client must be built.
The legitimacy of VCPR hinges on crossing off the following boxes:
- The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the patient and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarians’ instructions.
- The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the patient to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the patient. The veterinarian must be personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the patient by virtue of a timely examination of the patient by the veterinarian, or medically appropriate and timely visits by the veterinarian to the operation where the patient is managed.
- The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation or has arranged for the following: veterinary emergency coverage, and continuing care and treatment.
- The veterinarian provides oversight of treatment, compliance, and outcome.
- Patient records are maintained.
- Courtesy of American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
Speaking outside VCPR
Let’s unpack that a bit more. VCPR is deemed valid as long as the VoR follows up at least once a year after the initial in-person examination and every interaction from that point on is kept on record.
Don’t get it twisted, though. VCPR strictly pertains to medical judgments. General pieces of advice fall outside its scope.
Of course, then comes the challenge of differentiating advice from medical judgment.
Advice, according to AVMA, refers to any sort of information that isn’t “specific to an individual animal, diagnosis or treatment.” The sheer broadness of the definition makes it a little tricky for teleadvice platforms as that of Dr. Tail. Because, more often than not, what vets get from clients are questions specific to their pets.
How Dr.Tail navigates tricky waters
The vets who form the backbone of our community here at Dr. Tail have the biggest heart. But at the same time, we know better than to let our compassionate nature get in the way of practicing medicine outside the boundaries suggested by the law.
That’s why our vets make it crystal clear that the thoughts we provide are to be taken only as a reference. Plus, throughout the whole session, our clients are repeatedly reminded that an in-person examination is very much warranted.
We know how much it means for you to continue helping pets in need. And the last thing we want is to put your license at risk. So, without further ado, join our community of trusted vets to embark on our mission of delivering the care pets rightfully deserve.
* Photo on Canva