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2021 Tennessee Code

Title 63 – Professions of the Healing Arts

Chapter 12 – Tennessee Veterinary Practice Act

Part 1 – Tennessee Veterinary Practice Act
§ 63-12-103. Chapter Definitions


    1. “Practice of veterinary medicine” means to:

      1. Diagnose, treat, correct, change, alleviate, or prevent animal disease, illness, pain, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical, dental, or mental conditions by any method or mode, including:


    1. The prescription, dispensing, administration or application of any drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, anesthetic, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or medical or surgical, including cosmetic, technique;


    1. The use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies;


    1. The use of any manual, mechanical, biological, or chemical procedure for the testing of pregnancy, or for the management or treatment of sterility or infertility;


    1. The rendering of advice or recommendation by any means including telephonic and other electronic communications with regard to subdivisions (10)(A)(i)(a)-(c) ; and


  1. The collection of blood or other samples for the purpose of diagnosing disease or other conditions. This shall not apply to:
      1. Any unlicensed personnel employed by the United States department of agriculture or the Tennessee department of agriculture who are engaged in animal disease control programs, or who perform laboratory examinations. This section does not prohibit extension personnel or vocational agriculture teachers from doing educational work that is considered normal to their profession in their government positions; or
    1. The removal of an embryo from livestock or companion animal for the purpose of transplanting such embryo into another female animal or for the purpose of cryopreserving such embryo;
        1. The practice of veterinary medicine occurs wherever the patient is at the time services are rendered;“Preceptor” means a person who is a last year student duly enrolled and in good standing in a recognized college of veterinary medicine. Such person’s presence in a practice may be as part of a formal preceptorship program of the person’s college or as an informal arrangement between the person and a veterinarian licensed by the board. The preceptor must be under direct supervision of such licensed veterinarian;“Veterinarian-client-patient relationship” means:

          “Veterinarian” means a person who has received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree or its equivalent from an approved school or college of veterinary medicine;

          “Unprofessional or unethical conduct,” among other things, means any conduct of a character likely to deceive or defraud the public, objectionable advertising, obtaining any fee or compensation by fraud or misrepresentation, sharing office space with any person illegally practicing veterinary medicine, employing either directly or indirectly any unlicensed person to practice veterinary medicine or render any veterinary service except as provided in this chapter or the violation of any rule adopted by the board, which shall provide a code of professional ethics to be followed and carried out by persons licensed under this chapter;

          “Temporary license” means temporary permission to practice veterinary medicine issued pursuant to this chapter;

          “School of veterinary medicine” means any veterinary school or college, department of a university or college, legally organized, whose course of study in the art and science of veterinary medicine conforms to the standards required for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association and approved by the board;

          “Responsible supervision” or words of similar purport mean the control, direction and regulation by a licensed veterinarian of the duties involving veterinary services that such veterinarian delegates to such veterinarian’s personnel;

        1. The veterinarian has assumed responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the animal and the need for medical treatment, has obtained informed consent, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarian’s instructions;
        1. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal;
        1. The veterinarian has seen the animal within the last twelve (12) months or is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal, either by virtue of an examination of the animal or by medically appropriate visits to the premises where the animal is maintained within the last twelve (12) months;
        1. The veterinarian is readily available or has arranged for emergency coverage for follow-up evaluation in the event of adverse reactions or the failure of the treatment regimen;
        1. The veterinarian must maintain medical records as required by the board of veterinary medical examiners; and
        1. The veterinarian-client-patient relationship cannot be established or maintained solely by telephone or other electronic means;“Veterinary facility” means:
        1. Animal medical center — A veterinary or animal medical center means a facility in which consultative, clinical and hospital services are rendered and in which a large staff of basic and applied veterinary scientists perform significant research and conduct advanced professional educational programs;
        1. Clinics — A veterinary or animal clinic means a facility in which the practice conducted is essentially an outpatient type of practice;
        1. Hospital — A veterinary or animal hospital means a facility in which the practice conducted includes the confinement, as well as the treatment, of patients;
        1. Mobile facility — A practice conducted from a vehicle with special medical or surgical facilities or from a vehicle suitable only for making house or farm calls. Regardless of mode of transportation, such practice shall have a permanent base of operations with a published address and telephone facilities for making appointments or responding to emergency situations; and
      1. Office — A veterinary facility where a limited or consultative practice is conducted and that provides no facilities for the housing of patients;“Veterinary medicine” includes veterinary surgery, obstetrics, dentistry and all other branches or specialties of veterinary medicine; and“Veterinary technician” means a person who is a graduate of a veterinary technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Represent, directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, an ability and willingness to do an act described in subdivision (10)(A); and

Use any title, words, abbreviation, or letters in a manner or under circumstances that induce the belief that the person using them is qualified to do any act described in subdivision (10)(A)(i). Such use shall be prima facie evidence of the intention to represent oneself as engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine;

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