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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate income and family planning decisions of American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) diplomates.

SAMPLE

98 ACZM diplomates.

PROCEDURES

An online survey was sent to 201 ACZM diplomates. Participation was voluntary.

RESULTS

98 (49%) diplomates responded to the survey. The most commonly reported income categories were $90,000 to $94,999, $100,000 to $104,999, and $110,000 to $114,999. Overall, the mean of the salary-category midpoint responses was $105,357 but was $122,917 for those in academia and $94,508 for those working in zoos and aquaria. When incomes of males and females were matched (24 pairs matched for gender and age), no difference in income was observed. There were no significant differences in income between males and females with and without children. Diplomates who did not complete a residency had significantly higher incomes than diplomates who did. Sixteen of 21 (76%) females and 9 of 19 (47%) males reported delaying having children because of their career. Additionally, a higher percentage of females with children (13/20 [65%]) than males with children (3/19 [16%]) felt that having children had had a negative effect on their career. Thirty-five of 41 (85%) females without children and 4 of 9 (44%) males without children thought having children would have negatively affected their careers.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Although substantial differences in income between female and male ACZM diplomates were not identified, differences in family planning and perceptions of the impact of having children on their careers did exist.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the impact of a novel communication and consultation skills model (WISE COACH [WC]) on dog owner perceptions of veterinarians and projected spending on veterinary care.

SAMPLE

1,200 US dog owners who had visited a veterinarian within the prior 18 months.

PROCEDURES

Video recordings of 2 staged client consultations were made, with the veterinarian following the WC recommendations in one video and not following them in the other (control). Participants were randomly assigned to view one of the videos and completed an online survey to assess their perceptions and projected spending. Qualitative responses were coded to identify themes.

RESULTS

The veterinarian was rated significantly higher in the WC video than in the control video for the characteristics first impression, skilled and knowledgeable, cares about me, cares about my pet, and communicates clearly, and was rated significantly lower for the characteristic rushed or abrupt. Participants who viewed the WC video were significantly more likely to follow the veterinarian’s recommendations, return to see the veterinarian, and recommend the veterinarian. They were also approximately 1.4 times as likely to approve the full recommended treatment plan, and their projected total spending was approximately 15% higher than projected spending for participants who viewed the control video.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results showed improved client perceptions, client retention, quality of patient care, and financial metrics when the veterinarian followed the WC recommendations. Further study is needed to determine whether this model may also improve veterinarian well-being by improving client relationships and decreasing resistance to recommendations.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare resident and intern salaries with current regional living wages as a quantitative estimate of financial strain.

SAMPLE

152 residency programs and 141 internship programs listed with the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program for the 2021–2022 training year.

PROCEDURES

Data were collected for program annual salary and location. Regional living wage for each location was determined with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Living Wage Calculator, and annual salary was compared with living wage to estimate income surplus before and after taxes. Results for programs in academia and private practice were compared. Spearman correlation was used to determine whether program annual salary was significantly associated with regional living wage.

RESULTS

Mean ± SD income surplus before taxes was $7,786 ± 9,426 for clinical residency programs, $16,672 ± 5,105 for laboratory animal programs, and $5,829 ± 8,119 for internships. Academic residencies and internships offered salaries significantly lower than those offered in private practice, and income surpluses before and after taxes were significantly lower for academic programs than for private practice programs. There were weak and moderate, respectively, correlations between program annual salary and regional living wage for residency (r = 0.369) and internship (r = 0.570) programs.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Postgraduate training prolongs financial instability, and annual salaries generally do not meet the minimum income standard of a living wage. Financial stress has implications for mental health and diversity, and these findings invite deeper consideration of current remuneration practices for veterinary residents and interns.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To adapt the 3 scales of the Autonomy Preference Index to veterinary medicine and validate the 3 new scales to measure pet owner preferences for autonomy and information when making medical decisions for their pets.

SAMPLE

10 small-animal veterinarians and 10 small-animal clients at a veterinary school–based community practice (pilot study) and 311 small-animal clients of the practice (validation study), of which 47 participated in a follow-up survey.

PROCEDURES

Wording of items in the Autonomy Preference Index was adapted, and instrument wording was finalized on the basis of feedback obtained in the pilot study to create 3 scales: the Veterinary General Decision-Making Preferences Scale (VGDMPS), Veterinary Clinical Decision-Making Preferences Scale (VCDMPS), and Veterinary Information-Seeking Preferences Scale (VISPS). The 3 scales were then validated by means of administering them to small-animal clients in a clinical setting.

RESULTS

The 3 scales had acceptable reliability and validity, but clients expressed concern over item wording in the VGDMPS during the pilot study. Overall, results showed that clients had a very high preference for information (mean ± SD VISPS score, 4.78 ± 0.36 on a scale from 1 to 5). Preferences for autonomy varied, but mean values reflected a low-to-moderate desire for autonomy in clinical decision-making (mean ± SD VCDMPS score, 2.04 ± 0.62 on a scale from 1 to 5).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The VCDMPS was a reliable and valid instrument for measuring client preferences for autonomy in clinical decision-making. Veterinarians could potentially use this instrument to better understand pet owner preferences and tailor their communication approach accordingly.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To describe self-reported radiation safety practices by equine veterinary technicians in North America and identify factors associated with these practices.

SAMPLE

154 equine technicians.

PROCEDURES

An electronic questionnaire regarding radiation safety practices during the use of portable x-ray equipment was sent to 884 members of the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and Assistants. Data were summarized, and various factors were evaluated for associations with reported safety practices.

RESULTS

221 of 884 (25.0%) questionnaires were completed, including 154 by equine technicians who had been involved in equine radiography as x-ray tube operators, cassette holders, or both in the previous year. Lead apron use was suboptimal, reported as “always” for 80.0% (104/130) of tube operators and 83.1% (123/148) of cassette holders. Approximately 20% of participants never wore thyroid shields, and approximately 90% never wore lead eyeglasses. Almost 50% of participants did not have lead eyeglasses available. Although > 55% of participants always held the x-ray equipment by hand, 58.4% (73/125) of tube operators and 25.0% (35/140) of cassette holders never wore gloves. Cassette holders wore lead gloves and personal radiation dose–monitoring devices significantly more frequently than did tube operators.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Compliance of North American equine technicians with radiation safety recommendations by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements was suboptimal. Improvements in radiation safety training and education, strengthening the connection between academic institutions and private practices, and greater availability and requirement of personal protective equipment use by senior clinicians and employers might aid in improving safety practices.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the efficacy of ethylene oxide (EtOH) sterilization of 4 different waterproof camera cases and the ability of those sterilized cases to maintain a sterile barrier for intraoperative camera use.

SAMPLE

3 action cameras, 1 smartphone, and associated waterproof cases.

PROCEDURES

Cases were inoculated by immersion in medium containing Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and then manually cleaned and subjected to EtOH sterilization. Cameras were disinfected, loaded into sterile cases, and sterilely operated for 2 hours. Samples were collected from cases after inoculation, EtOH sterilization, camera loading, and 1 and 2 hours of operation and from all cameras after 2 hours of operation. Procedures were repeated twice, followed by an additional challenge round wherein cameras were purposefully contaminated prior to loading. All samples underwent bacterial culture.

RESULTS

All cases were successfully sterilized, and loading of nonsterile cameras into sterile cases caused no contamination when cameras had been disinfected beforehand. Nonpathogenic environmental contaminants were recovered from 6 of 64 culture samples and 2 of 4 room samples. During the challenge round, only the postload sample for 1 case yielded E coli, suggesting sterile glove contamination; however, postload, 1-hour, and 2-hour samples for the GoPro case yielded E coli and S pseudintermedius, suggesting major contamination.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that the evaluated cases can be safely sterilized with EtOH and used for image acquisition by aseptically prepared surgeons when cameras are disinfected prior to loading. Except for the GoPro camera, camera use did not jeopardize sterile integrity.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the perceptions of training, self-efficacy, and mentoring among veterinary clinical specialty trainees on the basis of their career interest.

SAMPLE

207 veterinarians who were either in a residency training program or had recently (within 2 years) completed one in a specialty recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.

PROCEDURES

An online survey was used to collect data about the respondents' perceived preparedness for an academic career, training emphasis, and mentoring received during training and demographic information. Results were compiled and compared by professional career interest (ie, academic medicine or private practice) and gender.

RESULTS

Included respondents represented 20% (207/1,053) of those invited. Preferred career choice was academic medicine for 48% (93/194) of respondents and private clinical practice for 52% (101/194) and did not differ by gender. Respondents perceived their likelihood of success in an academic career as high, and these perceptions did not differ by gender or preferred career choice. Mean self-efficacy scores for teaching were high among all respondents for most but not all listed teaching skills and did not differ by gender or preferred career interest. Mean self-efficacy scores were low for formulating research hypotheses and designing studies. Perceptions of training emphasis indicated strong mentoring in the areas of clinical practice and teaching with less mentoring and training emphasis in multiple areas of research and academic activity.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Lower self-efficacy of veterinary clinical specialty trainees in aspects of academic career appeared to be related to training emphasis and mentoring. Enhancement of emphasis on the identified areas of weakness may improve the interest and success of trainees in an academic career.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the radiation safety behaviors of veterinary specialists performing small animal fluoroscopic procedures and examine potential risk factors for these behaviors, including knowledge of radiation risk and training regarding machine operating parameters.

SAMPLE

197 veterinary specialists and residents in training.

PROCEDURES

An electronic questionnaire was distributed to members of the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine (subspecialties of cardiology and small animal internal medicine), Veterinary Radiology, and Veterinary Surgery.

RESULTS

The overall survey response rate was 6% (240/4,274 email recipients). Of the 240 respondents, 197 (82%) had operated an x-ray unit for a small animal fluoroscopic procedure in the preceding year and fully completed the questionnaire. More than 95% of respondents believed that radiation causes cancer, yet approximately 60% of respondents never wore hand or eye protection during fluoroscopic procedures, and 28% never adjusted the fluoroscopy machine operating parameters for the purpose of reducing their radiation dose. The most common reasons for not wearing eye shielding included no requirement to wear eyeglasses, poor fit, discomfort, and interference of eyeglasses with task performance. Respondents who had received training regarding machine operating parameters adjusted those parameters to reduce their radiation dose during procedures significantly more frequently than did respondents who had not received training.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

On the basis of the self-reported suboptimal radiation safety practices among veterinary fluoroscopy users, we recommend formal incorporation of radiation safety education into residency training programs. All fluoros-copy machine operators should be trained regarding the machine operating parameters that can be adjusted to reduce occupational radiation exposure.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association