Since 2003, the Bayer Animal Health Communication Project has developed and implemented a series of twelve (12) educational modules to improve communication skills in veterinary practice. The modules emphasize both communication content, issues and processes that have been identified through focus groups with veterinary practitioners and healthcare teams, consultation with BAH Communication Project Advisory Council members, BAH faculty members, and from review of the human and veterinary medicine literature.  read more

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Module 1: Building Teams that Work:

It is recommended that this be the first module that the students encounter. Since much of their academic career will call for them to work in teams, understanding the dynamics of teams and the skills needed to function effectively in teams will be useful throughout their academic career... view more        watch video clip.


Module 2: Getting the Story: Eliciting and Understanding the Client's Perspective

It is recommended that this be the second module that the learner encounters. Regardless of setting, being able to elicit and understand the story provided by the client is essential to... view more        watch video clip.


Module 3: Roles and Choices: Decision Making with Clients

This module will provide an overview of the decision-making process in veterinary practice. The module presents optional roles the veterinarian might take in the decision-making process and proposes the use assessing client preferences for engaging in a shared decision making model... view more        watch video clip.


Module 4: Euthanasia: Guiding Clients through Difficult Decisions

This module will provide an overview of the issues, values, decision-making process, and aftercare related to euthanasia in veterinary practice. The module challenges the learner to consider styles of interactions with clients who are considering euthanasia or in situations where the veterinarian... view more        watch video clip.


Module 5: Take 2 BID: Enhancing Adherence: Healthy Animals and Satisfied Clients

There is now a large body of evidence particularly in human medicine and more recently in veterinary medicine that indicates that practitioners can have a positive impact on the health related behaviors of the individuals they work with. They can influence a wide variety of behaviors that include... view more        watch video clip.


Module 6: It Goes Without Saying: Nonverbal Communication in Veterinarian-Client Relationships

Roughly 80% of all communication between individuals is nonverbal and is generally involuntary. This means that important information that cannot be hidden is being exchanged at all times - from client to veterinarian and from veterinarian to client. Twenty percent is verbal and voluntary... view more        watch video clip.


Module 7: In the Eye of the Beholder: Difficult Interactions between Veterinarians and Clients

This module has two goals: First, it is designed to identify the kinds of client- veterinarian situations that cause difficulty. It is clear from the research on clinician-patient interactions that there is great variance among practitioners regarding the application of the label difficult. Because of this variance... view more        watch video clip.


Module 8: The Elephant in the Room: Money in the Veterinarian/Client Relationships

This module is designed to help you be aware of both the challenge and the need to discuss monetary issues with clients. Discussing money can be challenging for all kinds of people in a multitude of situations. It is an issue often fraught with secrecy and high emotion. However, from what we know from the research on clinician-patient interactions, the willingness and ability to discuss these issues is an important component of a productive relationship... view more        watch video clip.


Module 9: Strangers in Crisis: Partners in Care

When clients enter the emergency department in crisis, they are often met by strangers who in an instant become responsible for the care and welfare of their animal. Time pressures, high information processing needs and the seriousness and complexity of the patient's medical problems contribute to the intensity of the situation. In an effort to better equip veterinarians to manage communication challenges in the emergency settings including the sharing of bad news with clients... view more        watch video clip.


Module 10: Are We Good Here?: Speaking of Ethics

Veterinary medicine has changed significantly in the past twenty years. The information and technology ages have created a host of benefits and burdens for veterinarians and veterinary clients alike. Once seen solely as property, new social views of animals are changing the practices and procedures of veterinary medicine and altering the ethical landscape... view more        watch video clip.


Module 11: Breaking the Silence: Disclosing Medical Errors:

There has been increasing public awareness of patient safety in healthcare and attention on a disturbing rise in medical errors. Research has shown that the majority of malpractice litigation in human medicine is related to poor communication between the patient and the physician. The importance of having open and frank discussions when medical errors occur has been highlighted by several professional organizations and institutions and published in the scientific and news media. ... view more        watch video clip.


Module 12: Easy for You to Say: Communication Within the Healthcare Team:

Regardless of one’s role within a practice, veterinarians must effectively communicate within the healthcare team and perhaps most importantly, role model productive interactions with team members related to decision-making and problem solving. In the development of this module, we have collected data through focus groups and surveys with veterinary professionals. This data provided us with an appreciation for specific areas identified by veterinary teams perceived as particularly challenging such as interpersonal dynamics related to gender and cohort, hierarchical roles and power differences, and conflict resolution. There are a plethora of theories and models in the literature on leadership, team communication and team building within the business and healthcare setting. Content from the module was drawn and adapted from the work and conceptual framework of Peter Lencioni from his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. ... view more        watch video clip.


Module 13: Building Client TRUST:

This workshop addresses the unique client communication challenges faced by veterinary technicians and all members of the team. Using structured exercises, video cases and short presentations, learners gain practical tips and communication tools for immediate practice application.... view more        watch video clip.


Module 14: Compassion Fatigue: Caring Until It Hurts:

This highly interactive workshop is designed to help those in veterinary practice learn coping skills to manage the distress from over-emphasis on caring for clients and patients and under-emphasis on care of self. As veterinary professionals, we want to do what is best for clients and patients which is best achieved by professionals who recognize the importance of self-care. This program will provide veterinary professionals with the knowledge to recognize the early signs of CF and the skills to prevent and manage CF in order to reclaim the satisfaction, hope and inspiration that led to the choice of this career path.... view more        watch video clip.


Module 15: Clear the AIR: Tools for Managing Team Conflict:

Conflict is inevitable. We all face it and we all have had both positive and negative outcomes as a result of conflict. What makes conflict negative or positive is the way in which it is handled. This workshop will help participants learn, recognize what practice situations create conflict for them, identify conflict management styles, and apply a four step model to create common ground and manage conflict in practice. ... view more        watch video clip.

Contact us via email at:


Institute for Healthcare Communication, Inc.

171 Orange Street, 2nd Floor, 2R
New Haven, CT 06510-3111
Telephone: 800-800-5907 or 203-772-8280
Fax: 203-772-1066