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Power of practice: using clinical data to advance veterinary medicine
  1. E. M. Lund, DVM, MPH, PhD
  1. Banfield Pet Hospital, 8000 NE Tillamook, Portland, Oregon 97213, USA
  1. e-mail: elizabeth.lund{at}

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WHAT if a system existed for generating pet health insights that could transform how veterinarians deliver care, how academics prioritise research and how students are trained? What if this system generated data every day of the year across all nations in the developed world? The basics of this system already exist, in the form of first-opinion (primary care) veterinary practice. With the increasing adoption of electronic pet health records, there is great potential for opportunities to use the clinical experience of pets in first-opinion practice to increase the quality of veterinary healthcare, research and professional education.

The majority of pets seen by veterinarians are seen in first-opinion or primary care practice settings. Despite this, much of our understanding of pet health is driven by research conducted in tertiary care or referral practice. Tertiary practice is also the foundation for the majority of professional veterinary training. Trends in pet health can go unrecognised by the veterinary profession in the …

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