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4:19 PM   April 18, 2014
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Bayer Communication Awards Offered at 28 Veterinary Schools

Posted: Dec. 6, 2013, 2:25 p.m. EST

Bayer HealthCare Animal Health is expanding the Excellence in Communication scholarship program to all 28 U.S. veterinary schools in 2014 in an ongoing attempt to remedy a disconnect between veterinarians and pet owners.

A communications divide was documented a few years ago in the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study, which found that veterinarians had a difficult time convincing pet owners about the importance of periodic checkups.

 Veterinary client
Good communication with a veterinary client is key to maintaining optimal pet health.
The program will award a $2,500 scholarship to one student at each school based on the student’s performance in communicating with a client in a clinical setting. Faculty members will choose school-level winners.

"The overwhelmingly positive response to the award last year, our inaugural year that involved seven veterinary schools, led to our expanding to 21 additional schools,” said Cristiano von Simson, DVM, the director of veterinary services at Bayer HealthCare Animal Health in Shawnee, Kan. "The purpose of the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award is to help develop strong communications skills among veterinarians that will, in turn, result in healthier pets.”

Bayer will dole out $72,500 in 2014, including an additional $2,500 to one student based on the strength of the videotaped client interview.

The company has partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Communication in New Haven, Conn., since 2001 to develop the Bayer Communication Project, of which the scholarship program is an outgrowth.

The partnership also led to the development of a communications module offered to veterinary colleges. Selected faculty members who complete the Train the Trainer program incorporate the skills into their curriculum.

Participation in the 2014 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award is open to third- and fourth-year veterinary students.

School-level winners will be selected by March 1, 2014, while the national winner will be chosen by May 1, 2014.

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