COMVET Erasmus+

The consortium, consisted by Charakis Research & Consulting Ltd. (Cyprus), ΚΙΚΟ Educational Solutions (Poland) and Synolic IKE(Greece), was established for the research and development of innovative training applications for the health sector, and more specifically for the COMVET Project Developing Communication Competences among veterinary Doctors. COMVET has been successfully approved and selected for co-finance under the EU’s ERASMUS+ framework.

The Project has been created as a response to the needs of professional group of veterinary medical doctors in the field of communication with a client- owner of animal.

The main target of the project is to create the training program and methodology-curriculum for veterinary doctors in the subject of communication with client- owner of the animal (patient). The target will be achieved through project’s activities, transnational project meetings, exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices in the field of effective and innovative methods of trainings in the subject of communication of veterinary doctors.

The project’s target group are professionally active veterinary doctors. According to the EU and OCED Practicing veterinary doctor is a persons who have completed studies in veterinary medicine at University level (granted by an adequate diploma) and who are licensed to practice.

The situation on the market in the most of EU countries has changed in last 7-10 years, and veterinary doctors faced the problem of changing the attitude of their clients, their needs as well as more demanding attitude. Number of active veterinary doctors in accordance with EUROSTAT data in 2014 in European Union is 242’700 licensed and active veterinary doctors. In countries taking part in the project was following: veterinary doctors, Greece – 1’950 active veterinarians, Cyprus- 150 practicing, Poland with the number of 9’500 veterinary doctors licensed to practice. In average more than 70% of veterinary doctors in partners’ countries carry out private practice, which means their work is very client-dependent.

This is very specialized group of medical professionals that after graduating studies have to deal with various specific situations at the workplace. The situation on the European market has changed, and veterinary doctors faced the problem of changing the attitude of their clients, their needs as well as more demanding attitude. This may be a serious barrier at work. Communication with a client (owner of animal) is a very specific type of contact. It involves personal communication skills, requires to certain level of empathy but also knowledge how to guide the conversation with the client to receive necessary information to diagnose a problem efficiently, to communicate during animal – patient’s treatment and also to encourage client to continue the treatment till finishing of the whole medical process.

Veterinary doctors in most of EU Member States do not have mandatory high education in the field of communication with client, owner of animal. There are any educational standards or training programs in university veterinary faculties in personal communication at workplace. This means that there are no structured, guided recommendations on how to carry out such a training or education dedicated to this professional group.

During realization of ERSAMUS+ Project COMDENT in 2014-2016 during dissemination activities veterinary doctors asked the Coordinator – KIKO Business Solutions (at present KIKO Educational Solutions Sp.zo.o) to develop training program dedicated specially for veterinary doctors in the subject of communication with client- owner of the animal. In year 2016 basic analysis on the educational needs among veterinarians has been carried out. Over 9’500 veterinary doctors were registered in year 2014 in Veterinary Chamber as licensed to practice. On the basis of information gained from the Association of Veterinary Doctors of Small Animals more than 80,5% of veterinary doctors had problems with communication with clients, and over 82,4% of veterinarians from Poland expressed need of such a training in the field of specialized communication. In Greece the basic research made presented that the problem with the lack of communication competences to work efficiently with owner of patient is really big.

The aim of the strategic partnership project is to support exchange of good practices and carry out joint activities, collect necessary knowledge, exchange information, good practices and experiences on communication between veterinary doctor and client- owner of patient in project partners’ countries. On this basis the training and educational needs will be analyzed and estimated. That will be followed by guidance and general training program and methodology in the subject of communication between veterinary doctor and client (owner of animal), which will be the final result of the project.

The first meeting between the members of the project team, was held in Limassol, Cyprus between 13-14 November 2017 whilethe final outcomes of the project are expected to be completed by September 2019.