VetSOAP was founded in 2012 when a group of veterinary industry professionals joined forces to address concerns that, despite the growing availability of highly qualified veterinary specialists, too few pets—and their owners—were accessing this advanced expertise.

Why were primary care veterinarians not referring to veterinary specialists? After all, in human medicine it’s considered best practice for a primary care physician to refer a patient to a specialist to diagnose and treat a particularly complex medical issue. Why wasn’t a similar collaborative model more fully embraced by the veterinary profession?

Knowing how clinicians value objective data, the VetSOAP board realized that research would be necessary to determine the scope of the situation and quantify its impact on all stakeholders, including primary care veterinarians, specialists, pet owners and, most importantly, the animals.

To that end, in 2014 VetSOAP launched a multi-phase research initiative, beginning with an observational study to assess referral dynamics and, most recently, completing a series of quantitative studies about the link between provider collaboration and patient outcomes.

Notably, the findings demonstrate a clear correlation between the health of companion animals and the frequency and timeliness of collaboration between primary care veterinarians and specialists. Read more about our research here.

Today, VetSOAP is undertaking outreach and education to share these findings with the profession through forums such as this website and presentations at industry meetings. If you’d like a VetSOAP representative to speak to your practice or group, just let us know.

Looking ahead, we will continue on this path and make our research available to the profession in order to advance the relationship between primary care veterinarians and veterinary specialists. Our aim continues to be to produce healthier pets, more satisfied and loyal pet owners, and more successful practices.

Your participation in VetSOAP is welcome. Learn more about how you can help VetSOAP.