Jessica Bridge, a third-year student in the Colorado State University Professional Veterinary Medical Program, received the National Bayer Excellence in Communication Award for demonstrating effective communication skills in her video submission of a client interview. Her video was the highest scoring of seven client interview videos submitted by veterinary students across the country.
“College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty members agree with Bayer HealthCare that communication is a key to success in the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “We are happy to recognize Jessica for demonstrating excellence in this critical skill, a skill that will ultimately benefit her clients and practice.”
In October 2012, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health developed the BECA program in response to a perceived communication gap in veterinary care today. Bayer recognized a discrepancy between veterinarians and pet owners on the value of regular veterinary care.
“Many people neglect to schedule regular veterinary visits for their companion animals,” Bridge said. “It’s the veterinarian’s job to communicate to clients the importance of well-pet visits as an important part of preventive care.”
Students at seven pilot schools participated in the BECA program in its inaugural year, including 12 CSU students. Each student filmed a client interview in a clinical setting. Video submissions were evaluated by each school’s panel of faculty judges using a scorecard developed by nationally renowned veterinary faculty specializing in communication.
“We were evaluated based on 10 different communication skills,” Bridge said. “These are the same skills we practiced in our communications rotation. Every junior in CSU’s veterinary program has to participate in a communications rotation in both the fall and spring semesters.”
In March 2013, each school selected a finalist to be considered for the national award, and each school’s finalist received a $2,500 scholarship. Earlier this month, Bridge was announced the national winner and awarded an additional $2,500 for her final year of veterinary school.
In addition to Bridge’s scholarship, Bayer HealthCare will host one CSU faculty member, all expenses paid, to an upcoming Bayer Communication Project “Train the Trainer” course developed and taught by the Institute for Healthcare Communication.