DC Client Expectations-more detail
|Volunteers with an interest in animals and
veterinary education are encouraged to participate in the Diagnostic
Challenge as "simulated" clients. Listed below is a description of
the requirements of this program.
A more complete description of the entire Diagnostic Challenge
program from the student perspective can be found on the web at
A DC Clinic meets to discuss their plan.
Prior to the beginning of the Diagnostic Challenge you will meet with the
faculty facilitator who will be directing your case. (There will often be 2
facilitators.) He/she will provide you with a brief synopsis of the case,
describing your animal and its symptoms. In most cases (just as in real
life) you will NOT know the diagnosis until the students uncover it. Most
cases also have some built-in client issues which you and the facilitator
will discuss and possibly develop further or change somewhat to fit your
specific situation. (Examples of client issues may be that the lamb is your
daughter's 4-H project, you have no history concerning your dog because you
found him as a stray just last month, you cannot afford to pay a large bill,
etc.). Issues do not have to be complex but help enrich the case and
provide additional real life challenges. See
Script/Scenario for an example of a case synopsis
During the entire DC it's important that you work closely with your
facilitator. He or she will guide you through the case, checking with you
frequently for your input on the progress of the clinic and addressing any
concerns you may have. At times, the facilitator may help you to point the
students in the right direction or to probe their knowledge by having you
ask specific questions or report some new information on your animal. The
facilitator is available for support and assistance at all times during the
DC and you should confer with him or her regularly. If you have questions
or concerns, just ask - even if you need to call a "time out" during a
meeting with one of your DC clinics.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you will be
available to the students during the times that they are working on their DC
case. See the
DC Schedule and below for details on when students are working on their
case. Although it may be possible to "sign out" for some short periods of
times, please work closely with your case facilitator before doing so. If
you cannot be available to the students during their designated DC time on
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, it may be best that you not try to be a DC
Your facilitator will provide you with a DC client Handbook that provides
information on your case and copies of all the forms you'll need. Much is
replicated on this website for your convenience. There is a scheduled DC
Client training session prior to the DC. This is scheduled on Monday
at 6 PM, the day before the DC. Topics may include assessing
students' communication skills, providing effective feedback during the
debriefing sessions, effective written evaluations, etc. Experienced DC
Clients in attendance are often a great resource for information and tips.
DAY 1 (Tuesday):
The Interview: On the first day (Tuesday) of the DC you will be in the
CVM from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. meeting with the two/four clinics assigned to
your case. Each clinic will meet with you independently for approximately
30 minutes. At this time, the students will interview you concerning your
animal. They may ask you questions about the animal's history, its feed,
shelter, exercise, and, of course, the symptoms which have made you seek out
the services of a veterinary clinic. Because all four clinics work
independently, questions may vary so that one group may end up with
different knowledge than another group. You do not need to know anything
about veterinary medicine to respond to these questions as they will all be
similar to what you would be asked by your own veterinarian. Specific
responses for your case will be provided to you in writing by your case
facilitators. The facilitator(s) will also act as the students' eyes, ears,
and hands when they examine your simulated animal. Please note that many
clinics will ask to take a "TIME OUT" to confer, and that they will then
want to meet with you for 5-10 minutes a bit later to finish their initial
interview. After the initial interview, the clinics submit requests for
laboratory tests and other information to the facilitators. This is
called a submission. After the results from each submission period
are returned, clinics contact their clients to explain the results and
discuss their next recommendations.
DC INTERVIEW VIDEO:
Here's a video reenactment of a DC interview - just to help you visualize
what happens on the first day of a DC exercise. This example is a small
- Clients need to be available for these interactions from
approximately 4-5 p.m. the afternoon of Day 1, 10:00 a.m. - noon and 2-5
p.m. on Day and 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Day 3. Ideally, this contact
would be in person in the CVM. However, if necessary it can also be
over the telephone at your home or work. This is not ideal as it keeps
the interaction to the one student on the phone.
- NOTE: The phone conversations are not the best, because only one student from the clinic is engaged in the conversation.
- Typically you will have an assigned room where students know they
can find you.
- We will help you post an appointment calendar on the door, so
students can schedule times to meet with you.
- Depending on the case, students may also need to call you in the
evening in order to provide updates or ask about the status of your DC
animal (if it is at home).
During these meetings, students:
1. Explain the results of all tests and provide justification for
any additional tests that they want to recommend.
2. Educate you regarding the conditions that they suspect and the
prognoses associated with those conditions
3. Obtain your permission to perform any test or procedure
recommended. You must agree or refuse to pay for any
When meeting with your clinic, you should feel free to ask
any questions and to insert client issues when appropriate. You should also
ask students to explain any aspects of the case. Students usually take
turns being the "primary speaker" when meeting with you, but be sure to
direct questions to other members of the clinic during
every session. Also make sure all members of the clinic are
present. Let your facilitator know if someone is missing and/or ask the
In general, your facilitator(s) will only be present
during the initial interview and de-briefing. Be sure to touch base with
him and/or her at the beginning of each day, over the lunch hour and at the
end of each day. The facilitator(s) may have new information or an update
for you regarding your case.
Day 3 morning - DC CLIENT TRAINING: (Thursday)
At about 8:15 on Thursday AM,
the DC clients meet with Steve Hines and group facilitators to talk more
specifically about providing effective feedback to students. A room will be
announced (or ask your facilitator to find out for you). The "old hands"
(our experienced DC clients) usually have some excellent insight and advice
Day 3 afternoon - DEBRIEFING: VERY IMPORTANT!
The students usually finish their cases mid-day on Day 3.
That afternoon, 45 minute debriefing sessions are scheduled for each group
to discuss the case and the exercise. Your facilitator(s) will lead these
sessions. Clients are asked to attend the debriefings so that students can
discuss the client issues with you and so you can provide feedback regarding
your interactions and impressions. The students are typically very
interested in your perceptions and in advice that may help them become
better veterinarians. The pre-DC training session often provides useful
information on what to look for during the week and how best to communicate
your observations to students.
Day 4 afternoon - Friday
Each clinic gives a 20-minute Grand Rounds presentation
summarizing its case. Clients are invited to attend some or all of these
presentations if they wish. Most clients find the Grand Rounds
presentations an enjoyable culmination of the week, but attendance is your
After the DC:
Clients will meet with the faculty facilitators either in
person or over the phone to give him/her their input and comments on the
interactions they had with each clinic. Clients should take notes during
the course of the DC in order to remember specific characteristics of each
clinic. Examples of qualities on which to comment include:
1. ability to explain so that the client understands
2. ability to answer questions clearly and logically
3. sensitivity to client concerns and issues
4. participation of all clinic members or only some
VERY IMPORTANT !- your written evaluations of the students
Please see the more detailed
DC Client Evaluation Instructions.
Your online or written evaluations of each clinic (and in some cases
individual students) are an important part of the assessment process.
The Client Evaluation forms must be completed and returned to a
case facilitator within 7 days following the end of the exercise. If you select to do the online version of the evaluations, please email your facilitator or Rachel Halsey
once you have completed and submitted them. For the handwritten evaluations,
they can be returned by FAX or FedEx - just email or
call your facilitator for a FAX number or shipping address, and a pre-paid
FedEx account number.