Whether you bring your animal to UW Veterinary Care for a routine check-up or an advanced surgical procedure, our team of leading veterinary specialists will tend to you and your companion with confidence and compassion.
Preparing For Your Visit
Unless your pet has a medical condition that requires regular feeding, please don't feed your pet the morning of your appointment, as many commonly performed tests require fasting beforehand. Depending on the evaluation and treatment plan you choose to pursue for your pet, the visit may take several hours and may even extend into subsequent days (e.g. any testing or treatment that requires anesthesia will typically not happen the same day as the initial visit). For example, any procedure that requires anesthesia (e.g. surgery, CT scan, MRI) is typically not scheduled for the same day as the initial visit.
What to expect at your appointment
At our registration desk you will be welcomed and registered by one of our friendly greeters before a senior veterinary medical student brings you and your pet to an examination room. The student will take a medical history and conduct a physical examination, then he or she will work with a veterinarian (who may be an intern, resident or faculty) to develop a diagnostic and treatment plan. This discussion is usually not held in your presence and it may take 20-30 minutes. This is an important educational opportunity for our veterinary medical students. The student and veterinarian then meet with you to discuss the various testing and treatment options available for your pet and a written estimate is provided to ensure that you are comfortable with the next steps in the treatment plan.
This process reflects our commitment as a teaching hospital to train the veterinary specialists of tomorrow. By working closely with board-certified veterinarians, our residents and interns, who are already licensed veterinarians, further develop their knowledge of veterinary medicine. This constant collaboration helps ensure that your pet receives the highest level of comprehensive care and access to the most advanced treatments and technologies. Each specialty service functions as a team; although you may meet only a small part of the team rest assured that your animal is being evaluated by many minds.
As mentioned above, it is important to know that your pet's tests and treatment interventions may occur over a 1-3 day time period. This is true especially if anesthesia is required.
What is a teaching hospital?
As a teaching hospital, UW Veterinary Care is dedicated to training the veterinary experts of tomorrow. Our facility and staff support an environment of teaching and learning, embracing the philosophy that “many minds are better than one.” Students, interns, residents, and board-certified specialists collaborate on cases while uncovering the latest trends in veterinary medicine.
Most of the students you will interact with are in the fourth and final year of their professional Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Upon graduation in May, they will be fully qualified to practice as a veterinarian. We are also proud to train veterinary medical interns.
Interns are graduate veterinarians who are interested in getting more mentored clinical training under their belts. Many of the interns at UWVC have the goal of becoming a board certified specialist, and are working their way towards this achievement.
UWVC also trains residents, graduate veterinarians who have made it through the rigorous application and selection process to enter a 3-4 year training program focused in one specialty area. These training programs are intensive, immersion training programs and UWVC is proud of the many specialty veterinarians we have trained over the years.
Board-certified specialists are veterinarians who have successfully completed a residency program and have passed a difficult examination process. There are specific ethical standards for veterinary medical professionals to advertise themselves as specialists. The American Veterinary Medical Association reserves the term 'specialist' for veterinarians who have completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and have passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area. Regardless of whether the veterinarian you see is an intern, resident or a board certified veterinarian, know that the UWVC team is working together to provide the best care for each and every patient.
communication With Your Pets' Medical Care Team & payment
While we are classified as a teaching hospital, UWVC is still an independent entity; only a small portion of our budget comes from state funding. As such, we cannot offer reduced prices for our medical services or treatments. However, we do conduct a number of clinical studies that may have some degree of financial incentive associated with participation. Your pet’s care team will review all treatment options with you, including available clinical trials. You will be called at least once a day with updates on your pet’s condition and test results. Our reception desk is staffed daily from 7:30 am until 11 pm, and patient releases are typically arranged during these working hours.
If your animal spends the day at the clinic but does not require hospitalization, your care team will schedule a time for you to pick up your pet and discuss the day’s findings. If your animal does require hospitalization, we request a deposit of 50% of the higher end of the estimate at the time of admittance.