Journal of Veterinary Medical Education
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Although there are existing guidelines for teaching and learning skillful client communication, there remains a need to integrate a developmental focus into veterinary medical curricula to prepare students for interactions with children who accompany their companion animals. The objectives of this teaching tip are (1) to describe the use of a Teddy Bear Clinic Tour as an innovative, applied practice method for teaching veterinary students about clinical communication with children, and (2) to provide accompanying resources to enable use of this method to teach clinical communication at other facilities. This paper includes practical guidelines for organizing a Teddy Bear Clinic Tour at training clinics or colleges of veterinary medicine; an anecdotal description of a pilot study at the Ontario Veterinary College Smith Lane Animal Hospital; and printable resources, including a list of specific clinical communication skills, a sample evaluation sheet for supervisors and students, recommendations for creating a child-friendly environment, examples of child-friendly veterinary vocabulary, and a sample script for a Teddy Bear Clinic Tour. Informed by the resources provided in this teaching tip paper, the Teddy Bear Clinic Tour can be used at your facility as a unique teaching method for clinical communication with children and as a community outreach program to advertise the services at the facility.