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The dog's too fat – and so is the client: how to handle delicate consultations
  1. Cathy Jackson

    Cathy Jackson is a GP who works in a rural practice in Angus. She is also a lecturer at Dundee medical school, where she runs the clinical consultation skills course for fourth- and fifth-year medical students, and postgraduate courses for GPs and hospital practitioners. She has three border collies to help her keep her three children under control.


ALL veterinary practitioners will undoubtedly, from time to time, be faced with having to discuss a diagnosis with a client that may potentially cause embarrassment or offence. Some pet owners may be upset by the very idea that their pet could be suffering from, say, fleas, mange, maggots or obesity, with possible connotations of dirtiness or laxness on their part. Here, Cathy Jackson, a GP and lecturer in consultation skills, offers advice on maintaining a professional manner in tricky consultations, without upsetting or alienating clients. In the box on page 220, Carol Gray, a veterinary surgeon and lecturer in communication skills, describes some other situations that may arise in practice that need handling in a sensitive and non-judgemental way.

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