Torchia wins Bayer communications award

Bayer group with Andrew Torchia

From left to right are Dr. Amy Stone, Dr. Amanda House, Andrew Torchia, Dr. Dan Lewis and Dr. Chris Sanchez.  Torchia was honored during a recent UF Veterinary Hospitals meeting. The faculty members shown with him all have participated in the Bayer Communication Project. Unable to be present for the photo were Drs. Jeff Abbott and Sarah Graham. (Photo by Sarah Carey)

Third-year University of Florida veterinary student Andrew Torchia has received the 2014 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award, a designation made by faculty at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine.

Created and funded by Bayer HealthCare LLC’s Animal Health Division, the purpose of the award is to identify and reward students who are mastering effective communication skills. These skills are considered critical for helping to establish strong client relationships, in turn leading to better compliance with medications and treatment plans for their animals.

Students competing for the award, which includes a $2,500 scholarship, submit filmed interviews of themselves in a clinical setting with a client. The submissions are then judged by a panel of faculty judges, who selected their school’s winner.

This year 27 veterinary colleges selected winners from their student applicants, according to Dr. Sherri Rigby, manager of veterinary technical services for Bayer HealthCare.

“We are all really proud of Andrew and all of the UF students that entered this year, as it was our first time in the competition,” said Dr. Amy Stone, a clinical assistant professor at the UF veterinary college.

The Bayer Excellence in Communication Award is one facet of a larger initiative aimed at advancing the communications skills of the next generation of veterinarians. In 2001, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Communication to establish the Bayer Communication Project. This collaborative partnership resulted in an extensive set of communication skills training modules offered to colleges of veterinary medicine for incorporation into their curriculum. Selected faculty members from all U.S. veterinary colleges have been trained via the Bayer Communication Project “Train the Trainer” program.

At the UF CVM, six faculty members have completed this program and helped evaluate the competitors for the 2014 Bayer award. Those faculty members include Dr. Chris Sanchez, Dr. Amy Stone, Dr. Amanda House, Dr. Jeff Abbott, Dr. Sarah Graham and Dr. Dan Lewis.


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