McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Samantha Fousse

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Major and Classification

Biology

Faculty Mentor

  • Louise A. Rohrbach, Ph.D.

Department

  • Keck: Institute For Prevention Research

McNair Project

Veterinarian Characteristics Associated with Physician Communication

Abstract
Human and animal health are intricately related through common ailments and zoonotic diseases. However, studies across the United States have identified low communication rates between veterinarians and physicians. The purpose of this study was to examine the character istics that distinguish veterinarians who contact physicians from veter- inarians who have never contacted physicians and to identify barriers to that communication. A cross-sectional, online survey was emailed to 1293 veterinarian members of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. One hundred and seven eligible responses were received, which were further divided into a Contact group (n=50, 46.7%) and a No contact group (i.e. they had never contacted a physi- cian) (n=57, 53.3%). The data was analyzed using a Chi-square test and a T-test. All veterinarians who specialized in Surgery or Oncology had contacted physicians (n=7, 100%), while the majority of Small ani- mal (excluding exotics) practitioners had never contacted physicians (n=33, 68.8%) (p=0.022). Veterinarians that have contacted physicians (mean=3.38±1.55) were more familiar with One Health than veterinar- ians who have never contacted physicians (mean=2.65±1.55) (p=0.01). There was a significant association between involvement in research and frequency of contact (p=0.038). This information could be used to develop effective strategies to increase the communication between phy- sicians and veterinarians in order to increase the health of both humans and animals alike.