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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Small Animal Community Practice



Small Animal Community Practice

What is the Community Practice?

The Community Practice (CP) is the primary care service for the University of Tennesseeís Veterinary Medical Center, serving the needs of dogs and cats belonging to students, faculty and staff of the University. Pets belonging to UT retirees and to spouses/partners of UT faculty, staff, and students may also receive primary care from the CP service. The primary difference between UTís community practice and UTís referral specialty services is that the CP does not require a referral and can serve as your regular veterinarian.

Where is the Community Practice?

The CP is located in the new wing of the UT Small Animal Hospital. Exam rooms 14 and 15 have been reserved for CP use.

Who is the Community Practice?

The CP services will be provided by a team of professionals including student clinicians, licensed veterinary technicians and faculty veterinarians.

Veterinary Technician: Sabrina Klepper, LVMT

Veterinary Faculty: Amy Holford, VMD, DACVIM

Beth Johnson, DVM, DACVIM

What does the Community Practice offer UTCVM students and clients?

Services offered by the CP include pediatric and geriatric wellness examinations, preventative care for healthy pets (vaccinations, spay/neuter, flea/tick/heartworm preventions, dental services), diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illness, and counseling on topics such as basic nutrition, behavior and end of life decisions. In house consultation with UTís specialty services may be available on a case by case basis, but does not replace a referral.

This CP opportunity trains veterinary students to become proficient primary doctors with the supervision and guidance of a faculty veterinarian. It teaches them how to provide primary veterinary care including skills needed upon graduation, such as how to perfect a physical examination, effectively listen to and communicate with clients, learn organizational and time management skills and perform technical skills. They will accomplish this all while experiencing the case load, capabilities and limitations of a general practice. Clients benefit from the opportunity to receive primary care with the expertise and quality of a referral specialty hospital.

What to expect as a Community Practice client:

As a client of the CP you will have experiences much like those in a general practice. You will be greeted by the dedicated CP technician and/or the student clinician (a veterinary student in the final year of their training). After acquiring a history and completing a thorough physical examination, the student clinician will discuss their findings and plan with the faculty veterinarian. The faculty veterinarian will duplicate every examination and carefully critique every plan prior to making any decisions. The appointment will proceed slower in this teaching setting due to the thorough nature of the visit. Therefore, for routine appointments, you should expect to spend approximately an hour. Sick and/or injured patients may require additional diagnostics and/or therapy which may prolong the visit.

To help teach veterinary students about communication skills, appointments will be video taped. With your permission, these videos will be recorded for use by student clinicians and teaching faculty in rounds to enhance studentsí skills in this essential aspect of veterinary medicine. Upon your arrival, we will request your written permission to help the veterinary students in this way. If you do not give permission for your appointment to be recorded, this will in no way affect the veterinary care you receive.


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