Focus on Spectrum of Care Initiative (SOCI)
Winter 2022
The Big Picture
With support from The Stanton Foundation, the AAVMC established the Spectrum of Care Initiative (SOCI) in 2021. The purpose of this initiative is to provide the infrastructure and support for a unified and collaborative approach to enhance SOC (spectrum of care) pedagogy in veterinary education. In 2022, the SOCI was awarded a $1.3 million grant by the Stanton Foundation to further support this effort.
The term “spectrum of care” (SOC) has only recently been defined in the veterinary literature as the “...wide spectrum of diagnostic and treatment options [that veterinarians] can provide for their patients” (p. 1386, Stull et al., 2018). Practicing across the spectrum entails “providing a continuum of acceptable care that considers available evidence-based medicine while remaining responsive to client expectations and financial limitations” (p. 464, Fingland et al., 2021).
SOC as a pedagogical strategy aims to educate career-ready veterinarians who can competently and confidently provide a range of high-quality, affordable care options to a socioeconomically diverse clientele. This preparation can help veterinary graduates better meet the needs of society and improve the health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals, clients, and patients.
SOC pedagogy involves shifting the focus of clinical training to teaching across the entire spectrum of veterinary health care options that range in complexity and cost. This pedagogical approach is not limited to primary care training. Preparing graduates to offer a wide range of care options that are responsive to both patient factors and the needs of socioeconomically diverse clients is a core component of SOC pedagogy for both primary care and specialist educators.

Primary Goals
From 2022-2024, the SOCI will develop the SOC educational model consisting of competency outcomes, assessment strategies, and learning experiences that prepare graduates to practice with competence and confidence across the spectrum of care. Once the initial SOC education model and implementation guidelines have been developed, next steps will involve piloting these elements in a sample of CVMs to evaluate, refine, and enhance the model.
 The SOCI is lead by a team at AAVMC
The SOCI has established a Leadership Committee and Task Force consisting of veterinary educators and practitioners from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom:
● Roger Fingland, The Ohio State University, USA (Leadership Committee)
● Emma Read, The Ohio State University, USA (Leadership Committee)
● Dana Zimmel, University of Florida, USA (Leadership Committee)
● Kevin Ashbran, Newport Harbor Animal Hospital, USA
● Heidi Banse, Louisiana State University, USA
● Stacy Eckman, Texas A&M, USA
● Ryane Englar, University of Arizona, USA
● Mike Grguric, Ohio Pet Vet, USA
● Carla Huston, Mississippi State University, USA
● Deep Khosa, University of Guelph, Canada
● Craig Price, Black Creek Veterinary Hospital, USA
● Jason Stull, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
● Sheena Warman, University of Bristol, UK

Fall and Winter 2022 Meetings
The SOCI Task Force’s first step to develop the SOC Education Model was to identify competencies that are specific to being prepared to practice across the spectrum of care options. The SOCI Task Force first met regularly in virtual working groups to brainstorm possible SOC competencies.

In October 2022, the Task Force met in-person at The Ohio State University to review SOC competencies collected via discussions in Task Force working groups, structured interviews with veterinary educators, Day One readiness frameworks, and peer-reviewed research. The Task Force worked on 1) aligning SOC competencies as sub-competencies within the Competency-Based Veterinary Education framework and 2) refining and coming to a consensus on which competencies prepare graduates for SOC practice.
In December 2022, the SOCI Task Force held a joint in-person meeting with the Council on Outcomes-based Veterinary Education (COVE) to continue developing the SOC Education Model. The Task Force first focused on developing more granular learning outcomes that constitute the SOC sub-competencies identified at the previous on-site meeting. Following an informative and engaging presentation and discussion with COVE about competency-based assessment strategies, the Task Force identified examples of assessments that could be used to provide evidence of students’ achievement of the SOC learning outcomes. Next steps for the Task Force include identifying specific learning activities and instructional strategies for courses, labs, and clinical experiences scaffolded throughout the curriculum that can help students achieve learning outcomes for SOC sub-competencies. The Task Force also looks forward to providing an update on the SOC Education Model at the SOC Symposium at the AAVMC Annual Conference.

Spectrum of Care Symposium - 2023 AAVMC Annual Conference
The AAVMC seeks to showcase pedagogy related to spectrum of care (SOC) through a dedicated symposium at the 2023 AAVMC Annual Catalyze Conference. The symposium will focus on sharing and discussing pedagogy and research aimed to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes needed to provide a range of care options. A call for abstracts was open through December 1 related to SOC pedagogy in all areas of veterinary education. More information about the SOC Symposium will be available soon.
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The AAVMC is working hard to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in every dimension of academic veterinary medicine. To foster this goal, the photographs and illustrations which are used in our communications programs are aspirational, and do not necessarily reflect the levels of diversity and inclusion that currently exist.

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