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Refer a Patient

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One of the primary functions of the Veterinary Medical Center is to assist private practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of unusual or complicated cases. We welcome such cases through referral from a veterinarian or through private consultation as needed.

Scheduling Instructions for Referring Veterinarians

Option 1: Contact Client Services to schedule an appointment on behalf of the client.

Option 2: Contact Client Services to make a referral for a particular service. Please be prepared to provide client’s name and contact information. We will then contact the client to schedule an appointment.

Option 3: Advise clients to contact Client Services ​to obtain an appointment. We will ask the client to verify that they have been referred by you. We will then contact you to obtain a referral form.

Option 4: Contact our Referral Coordinator between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM at (865) 974-3939 to request assistance.

  • To make an appointment, contact Client Services:
    • (865) 974-8387
    • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • To discuss medical aspects before arranging an appointment:
    • Referral Coordinator (865) 974-3939
    • After hours or Emergencies:  (865) 974-8387 and ask for the receiving clinician

Fax a copy of the completed referral form and copies of recent diagnostic testing results prior to the date of your client’s appointment.

Download a Referral Form

General Referral Policy

Although the receiving and referring veterinarian may have previously discussed a case prior to the animal being seen at the University, it is necessary and in the patient’s best interest that a written case history and summary of all previous tests, surgeries and medications be provided at their initial visit on the Referral Form.

When a referred patient arrives, the referring veterinarian will receive an automated arrival notification. The referring veterinarian is encouraged to contact the receiving clinician or the referral coordinator at any time concerning the progress of a hospitalized case. When the patient is discharged, the referring veterinarian will receive via the automated communication system (fax, email or letter, depending on referring veterinarian’s preference) a copy of the discharge instructions that were given to the client.

Upon discharge, clients are instructed to return the patient to their referring veterinarian for follow-up and other services. There will be times when it is necessary for the patient to return to the hospital for additional care; this will only be done when it is deemed in the best interest of the patient or requested by the referring veterinarian.

  1. Referral Form – Referral REQUIRED from practicing veterinarian. Please download, complete and return the form.
  2. Filling out the form – With the Referral form, please provide a summary of pertinent history and diagnostic results including:
    • Complete case history including medical records from previous 6-12 months
      • If you are sending medical records digitally, please combine all pages into ONE PDF before attaching to an email.  We cannot accept emails with numerous attachments.  Most veterinary medical records software programs allow for medical records to be combined into one PDF document by date range.  Please contact your medical records software company for technical assistance.  If you are sending pictures of documents, please send them as individual JPEG attachments and not imbedded in a word document or in the body of the email.  If there are more than three of the document pictures, it may be best to mail the medical records or send them with the client. 
    • ​Current medications
    • Current lab work from the previous 6 months or longer if chronic condition
    • Vaccination record for proof of vaccine and aid in diagnosis
    • Previous surgeries
    • Radiographs and imaging (refer to #4 below)
  3. Getting the form to us:
    • Email utvetref@utk.edu
    • Standard Referral FAX: (865) 974-0174
    • Oncology Consult Form FAX: (865) 974-5213
    • Or mailed to:
      UT College of Veterinary Medicine VMC
      Attn: Appointment Desk
      2407 River Drive
      Knoxville, TN 37996-4546
  4. Radiographs and/or images- For information about Veterinary Imaging Services (outpatient only) visit our Diagnostic Imaging department.  If you need copies of your patient’s diagnostic images, please view our guide on requesting diagnostic images for referring veterinarians​​.
    • Radiographs and/or images are best sent directly to our picture archiving and communication system (PACS), emailed, or sent with the client on CD or hard copy.  Email utvetref@utk.edu to get your clinic connected, so that you can send images directly to the UTCVM PACS.  PACS is only for submission of image studies as a part of a case consultation or patient referral, not for radiographic study interpretation.
    • Immediately after sending images to the PACS, please email us at utvetref@utk.edu with the name of the pet, name of the client and pertinent information regarding the reason the images are with UTCVM.  A reply email will be sent back to you once we have confirmed the transmission.
    • Mailing Images:
      UTCVM – Small Animal Clinical Sciences
      Attn: Referral Coordinator
      2407 River Drive – Room C247
      C247 Veterinary Medical Center
      Knoxville, TN 37996-4544All images should be in DICOM format.
  1. If a patient is being referred by a practicing veterinarian, please download, complete and return the referral form for either Farm Animal or Equine Animal.
  2. For non-referral and referral cases, please contact the reception desk in the Large Animal Veterinary Medical Center at (865) 974-8387 for an appointment or for emergency service after normal working hours.

Referral recommended but not required.