Research On Owner Expectations for Veterinary Services


You have an exciting and important opportunity to participate in what-I-think is so very important veterinary research on owner expectations for veterinary services.

From some of your comments over the years, I know that some of you feel somewhat like hostages when it comes to interactions with the veterinary profession.  And, from my articles over the years, you know that I think that communicating with horse owners is a very important part of the process.  Here’s your opportunity to help make things better for everyone.

My colleague, Dr. Yteke Elte, is an experience equine veterinarian who works in the equine clinic at the prestigious University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands (CLICK HERE to read her profile).  She is, like I am, an ambulatory clinician, that is, we do our work out there in the field.  In fact, she is responsible for the management of the Equine Ambulatory Clinic at the University.

Dr. Elte is doing research on a very important questions, that being, “What do you expect from your veterinarian?”  If you own a horse, it’s almost inevitable that you will come in contact with an equine veterinarian, whether you like it or not. The reasons for that contact, of course, can be quite different, from the routine, annual vaccination to acute care when something is really wrong.

Of course, when you call a veterinarian, you’re going to want the best possible care for your horse.  Understanding that, Dr. Elte and her colleagues want to explore what that means.  What does the “best” possible care mean for you? What aspects of care and communication do you find most important in a certain situation?

Dr. Elte’s previous research (CLICK HERE to read it) has identified seven aspects of a veterinarian that help determine how satisfied horse owners are with their veterinarian.

  1. Quality of care
  2. Quality of service
  3. Horsemanship (of the vet)
  4. Financial aspects
  5. Professionalism
  6. Interpersonal skills
  7. Knowledge transfer

Utrecht University Hall, built in 1894. I mean, are you kidding me?

To further that research and gain additional insight, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University is doing additional research to find out what you, as a horse owner/care taker, expect from your veterinarian in various situations, from a pre-purchase to a lameness examination, from routine vaccinations to treatment for colic. With the results, they hope to help veterinarians get better at responding to the wishes and expectations of horse owners, and, of course, help them provide your horse with the best possible care.

Thus, they’ve created a survey for horse owners.  You can contribute to this important research – in fact, given that we have over 61,000 followers, we have the potential for giving them an unprecedented level of response.  So, I’d like you consider helping Dr. Elte and her team by filling out their survey.

Here’s the link to the research page –  Dr. Elte estimates that it will take 10 – 15 minutes to fill out the survey, and you can even pick your language of choice!  From the research page, there’s a link that will take you to the survey,

Dr. Elte and her team are going to follow up this owner survey with an additional survey where they submit similar questions to veterinarians.  By doing that, they’ll be able to see if the expectations of horse owners and caretakers match those of veterinarians.  Maybe if owners and veterinarians know more about each other, we’ll all do a better job taking care of horses – which, after all, is what really matters.

Thanks very much for helping with this.  In fact, this is the start of what-I-think could be an important opportunity for horse owners to get their voices heard.  More on that in a bit – I have my own research project that I want to do with you very soon but I have a lot of other ideas, too.  STAY TUNED!

And, it case you were skimming, here’s the link to the research page again –  THANK YOU!

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