Phase II Handbook

Here you are in Phase II. This will be an exciting and interesting experience for you. We welcome you. The faculty will help you and guide you to become confident in your clinical skills. We will also ask you to apply yourself vigorously and continuously to the growth and improvement of the hospital program. In a sense, you are the hospital and the hospital is you. Your progress, and the hospital's progress will often depend upon your application of the knowledge and philosophies that you are acquiring. What you learn this year will directly relate to how you involve yourself in the cases that are seen in the various clinics.

This is a teaching hospital. Consequently equipment, services and procedures not commonly found in a private facility are found here. You will see both routine and complex cases. We care for animals in teams composed of veterinarians, students and technicians. Sometimes the protocols become onerous and time consuming, but they have a vital purpose which is the gathering of scientific data. If you will work with the system you will waste less of your time and other's time. It takes far more effort to correct errors than it does to do things properly the first time. 

Many cases that we see are referrals from other veterinarians. A protocol for referrals has been printed and distributed to the veterinarians in our geographic area. Referrals are essential to our practice. Good manners and good communication are vital
for the conduct of a referral practice. It is not unusual for the referring veterinarian, and the receiving veterinarian to have differing opinions of the diagnosis or course of treatment for a given case. Courtesy and understanding for the client and for the referring
veterinarian is absolutely essential.

Within the hospital you will have frequent opportunity to seek other professional opinions of a case. That second opinion should be weighed and measured with concern and courtesy for others.

To avoid confusion on your part - or on the part of the peripheral persons involved in such cases, remember these two terms, and the difference in their meanings. 

Referral: a transfer of the responsibility for diagnosis and treatment from the attending (referring) veterinarian to the receiving veterinarian.

Consultation: A deliberation between two or more veterinarians concerning the diagnosis and treatment of a patient's disease.

The rotation of clinicians through a service may not coincide with your rotation into that course. Consequently, you may not be assigned to a particular clinician during your fourth year. You may feel free to consult with any clinician to help you build your aptitude and knowledge. Seek out information from several sources, so that you can weigh the merits of differing techniques or differing opinions. Review hospitalized cases on other services; visit other sections of the clinics; go to the gross pathology conference.

While you practice your skills in the art of veterinary medicine don't neglect your skills in the art of human relations. Successful interaction with clients, peers, clinicians and staff persons will contribute a great deal to your growth. 

Remember, the faculty member or house officer is the licensed veterinarian; only he or she is legally able to conduct this practice. Your role as a student should not presume to put you into a position to act as a veterinarian.


"Until the DVM degree is obtained and a license to practice is received, students are forbidden to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine in any form unless they are under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Failure to observe this rule may result in dismissal from the School of Veterinary Medicine. Non-supervised veterinary practice by students is in direct violation of the Louisiana Practice Act."