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Membership Eligibility Group Summary
November 9, 2010 (published) | August 4, 2017 (revised)
Colin McHugh; Paul Pion; Nanette Walker Smith; Karen James

INTRODUCTION

Several months ago a discussion arose on the VIN Boards that brought to the surface a long sought after conversation on VIN. The focus of the discussion was/is the following question:

Should VIN Message Boards – especially “Vet-to-Vet” discussions, even if archived, be accessible by non-veterinarians? (Here is a link to the discussion: https://www.vin.com/Link.plx?ID=4349122 )

There is no simple or single answer. This discussion and the questions which arose from it lead to the formation of the VIN-Membership Eligibility Community Advocacy Group (VIN-MECAG) – the authors of the plan that this and the accompanying two documents (a spreadsheet and a bubble diagram) illustrate. This document refers to the other two graphic depictions which together are meant to explain who should have access, what resources should be accessible, and how these are decided and communicated to the VIN community.

Paul Pion (co-founder of VIN) and Colin McHugh (who emerged as a leader within the discussion) invited a diverse group to participate in the VIN-MECAG. Individuals were chosen based on several independent factors; participation and personal opinion in the original discussion, veterinary background, role within the veterinary community (industry, associations, government, general practice, specialization, etc) engagement in prior VIN discussions on related topics, as well as prior insights into each individual’s ability to maintain an open viewpoint and balanced evaluation of differing opinions.

Members participating in VIN-MECAG were asked to agree to the following before accepting the invitation to join:

“It is vital to realize your participation is intended to be as a representative on behalf of your VIN Community group as well as the VIN Community at-large rather than purely on your own interests and perspectives. This means while you may have strong opinions or beliefs of your own, you must be able to listen to the concerns of your Community group, distill those concerns into discernable positions and bring them to the attention of the entire VIN-MECAG, prior to advocating for a single position on the issue.”

VIN Membership Eligibility Community Advocacy Group – VIN-MECAG participating members.

Colin McHugh, Chairperson
William Blevins, Valeri Devaney, Erica Feiste, Joni Freshman, Walt Ingwersen, Karen James, Sarah Johnson, Kathy Jordan, Maureen Kersting, Teri Ann Oursler, Paul Pion, Greg Upton, Nanette Walker-Smith

THE TASK AND OUTCOME

The VIN-Membership Eligibility Community Advocacy Group was asked to:

  1. Outline VIN Access Eligibility – Who should have access, why should they have access, and how should that be decided. To accomplish this, the group:
    a. Compiled information from VIN staff about what areas make up VIN and VIN related communities and how that is controlled.
    b. Determined who fits into what VIN and VIN related community groups.
    c. Determined what type of access each group requires
    d. Considered how access for that group contributes to the VIN Community and / or the Veterinary Profession at large.
  2. Create a clear and simple ‘Roadmap of the VIN Community’ designed to permit the VIN Community members to easily understand the different aspects of VIN as well as the classifications of VIN and VIN related community members, how classifications determined, and what Access to which parts of VIN does each classification have.
  3. Examine the concept of VSPN-plus, a resource for the staff of veterinarians which might include some resources available on VIN (proceedings, calculators, journal abstracts, etc.)
    a. Again addressing the who, what, and why questions of VSPN-plus access.
  4. Deliver a recommendation on the subject of VIN, VIN related communities and VSPN-plus access eligibility to the VIN Community.

It is important to understand, the VIN-MECAG has no authoritative decision making power over VIN, but rather is intended to act as the eyes, ears and voice of the VIN Community in regards to this access eligibility issue.

The VIN-MECAG, engaged in months of productive discussion to create recommendations that openly address the questions and concerns of the VIN Community raised in the discussion (https://www.vin.com/Link.plx?ID=4349122 ).

The VIN-MECAG is pleased to present three documents to the VIN Community for review:

  1. This document which refers to the other two documents.
  2. A grid outlining the breakdown of eligible groups and subgroups. Each group/subgroup are assigned an alphabetic and numeric designation (A1, A2, B1, B2, etc) , and a description of that group followed by what access they are allowed, how they are or not listed for the VIN community to view and how often and by whom eligibility will be reviewed going forward.
  3. A 'bubble diagram' illustrating the areas of VIN and VIN related communities/content and which of the above outlined groups/subgroups have access to each area.

Item (3): The concept of VSPN Plus has been discussed in detail. It remains a concept in the planning stages that will hopefully be a reality in 2011.

How to read the accompanying VIN-MECAG Grid

Click here to download a pdf of the excel spreadsheet.

The VIN/VSPN Communities can be divided into 11 membership groupings. Each group was assigned a letter for easier cross-referencing.

A. Administrator – individuals who work for VIN.
B. Consultant / Associate Editor / Representative
B1. VIN Consultants and Associate Editors are community thought leaders who moderate message board discussions
B2. VIN Representatives are prominent VIN member veterinarians who assist other members, VIN Consultant/Editors and staff by serving as buddies to new members, helping monitor message boards and providing support to the membership.
C. Veterinarian – the majority of the VIN community
D. Veterinary Student – the second largest segment of the VIN community
E. Academic Veterinary School – employees of a US or foreign veterinary school
F. Academic Veterinary Technical School – employees of a US or foreign veterinary support staff school
G. Industry – employees or representatives of for profit organizations that provide veterinary products or services
H. Associations and Foundations – employees or representatives of not for profit organizations that provide veterinary products or services
J. Veterinary Hospital Support Staff – the majority of the VSPN community 1
K. Veterinary Technician Student – the second largest segment of the VSPN community
L. Other – a limited number of individuals who, at the discretion of VIN’s President are granted access to the VIN/VSPN community, but do not fit into any of the above membership categories or, for specific reasons, require more access than would be defined by the VIN-MECAG group access levels as defined in this and the accompanying grid and diagram.

For each Group and Subgroup (see below), the GRID further defines:

  • Description: short description of the Group/Subgroup membership
  • Number in Group: the rough count of individuals within a subgroup
  • Access Portal: the access portal or portals where each subgrouping will be able to enter -- i.e., VIN.com, VSPNplus.com 2, VSPN.org
  • Access Allowed: the tools or areas accessible to individuals within each subgroup
  • Listing of Members: which listing/directory 3 each subgroup will have access to view
  • Eligibility Review: which group (VIN Staff, VIN-MECAG, Consultants/Editors/Reps) will be responsible for periodically reviewing members of each subgroup for continued membership eligibility

The VIN-MECAG group then identified the following subgroupings of the membership groups. Each subgroup was assigned a number for easier cross-referencing. Below is a list of the subgroups and a summary of their allowed access, directory listing and eligibility review.

A1: VIN Administrators

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to VIN Consultant / Editor / Representative areas
  • non-veterinarians within this group will have access to veterinarian only areas if required to perform their duties for the VIN Membership
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • a listing of VIN Administrators will be maintained and available to the VIN Membership
  • VIN Management will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

A2: VIN Staff

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to VIN Consultant / Editor / Representative areas if required to perform their duties for the VIN Membership.
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • non-veterinarians within this group will have access to veterinarian only areas if required to perform their duties for the VIN Membership
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • a listing of VIN Staff will be maintained and available to the VIN Membership
  • VIN Management will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals
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B1: Veterinarian Consultants and Associate Editors

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to VIN Consultant / Editor / Representative areas
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas if requested by the leadership of VSPNPlus / VSPN
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • a listing of VIN Consultants and Associate Editors will be maintained and available to the VIN Membership
  • VIN Consultant Leaders and VIN Management will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals

B2: Non-Veterinarian Consultants and Associate Editors

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to VIN Consultant / Editor / Representative areas
  • access to veterinarian areas only if requested by the VIN community
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • a listing of VIN Consultants and Associate Editors will be maintained and available to the VIN Membership
  • VIN Consultant Leaders and VIN Management will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

B1a: Veterinarian Representative

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to VIN Consultant / Editor / Representative areas
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas if requested by the leadership of VSPNPlus / VSPN
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • a listing of VIN Representatives will be maintained and available to the VIN Membership
  • VIN Representative Leaders and VIN Management will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals
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C1: Veterinarian General Member

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • optional listing in the publically available directory (VetQuest)
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.
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D1: Veterinary Student

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.
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E1: Veterinarian Employees at a Veterinary School (faculty, instructors and administrators)

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN will be made available for access by community members
  • optional listing in the publically available directory (VetQuest) available for employees of the veterinary teaching hospital
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

E2: Non-Veterinarian Instructors at a Veterinary School (with direct instructional responsibilities for the training and evaluating of veterinary students)

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPN and VSPNplus
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN will be made available for access by community members
  • optional listing in the publically available directory (VetQuest) available for employees of the veterinary teaching hospital
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

E3: Non-Veterinarian Staff at a Veterinary School

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN and VSPNplus
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.
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F1: Veterinarian Instructors at a Veterinary Technical School (with direct instructional responsibilities for the training and evaluating of veterinary technical students)

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVIN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

F2: Non-Veterinarian Instructors at a Veterinary Technical School (with direct instructional responsibilities for the training and evaluating of veterinary technical students)

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN and VSPNplus
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN will be made available for access by community members
  • VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

F3: Non-Veterinarian Support Staff at a Veterinary Technical School

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN will be made available for access by community members
  • VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.
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G1: Industry Veterinarian

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, MyVIN Colleague Search disabled 4
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPN, VSPNplus and Industry Specific areas will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

G2: Industry Non-Veterinarian Support Staff

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN and VSPNplus
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPN, VSPNplus and Industry Specific areas will be made available for access by community members
  • VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

G3: Industry Non-Veterinarian Lay Person

  • access to industry specific area only
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPN, VSPNplus and Industry Specific areas will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.
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H1: Associations and Foundations Veterinarian (assigned as the VIN community representative)

  • access to all general membership areas of VIN, VSPNPlus and VSPN
  • access to veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, MyVIN Colleague Search
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPN, VSPNplus and Association and Foundation areas will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

H2: Associations and Foundations Non-Veterinarian Support Staff (assigned as the VIN community representative)

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, MyVSPN Colleague Search 
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPN, VSPNplus and Association and Foundation areas will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals

H3: Associations and Foundations Non-Veterinarian Lay Person

  • access to associations and foundations specific area only
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas if requested by the leadership of VSPNPlus / VSPN
  • organization listing of employees who are members of VIN, VSPN, VSPNplus and Association and Foundation areas will be made available for access by community members
  • VIN and/or VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals
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J2: VSPNPlus Non-Veterinarian Support Staff of VIN Members

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN and VSPNplus
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • optional listing in the publically available directory (VetQuest) in VIN Member opted in
  • VIN and/or VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

J3: VSPN Non-Veterinarian Support Staff of a veterinary practice

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.
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K2: Veterinary Technician Student

  • access to all general membership areas of VSPN and VSPNplus
  • access to non-veterinarian only areas
  • in community directory, able to use MyVSPN Colleague Search
  • VSPN Administrators and Staff will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals.

L: Other

  • access to any area as determined by Paul, with full disclosure to the VIN-MECAG who have the right to amend
  • in community directory, MyVIN/VSPN Colleague Search may be disabled
  • Paul will be responsible for reviewing access at regular intervals and maintaining full disclosure to the VIN-MECAG
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VIN-MECAG Bubble Diagram -- Click to Open
VIN-MECAG Bubble Diagram -- Click to Open
 

How to read the accompanying VIN-MECAG Bubble Diagram

The Bubble Diagram depicts WHO has access to WHAT resources in VIN/VSPN/VSPNplus communities.

  • BUBBLES contain the VIN-MECAG subgroups (A1….L) with common access rights.
    • Dashed bubbles depict VIN-MECAG subgroups that share access rights EXCEPT specific areas/content highlighted by the red text exceptions or permissioned items in gray
  • BOXES list the membership resources/areas accessible by the associated VIN-MECAG subgroup(s) (bubbles)
  • ARROWS represent access hierarchy
    • Starting at the top left, the bubble representing the VIN Admin subgroup (A1) has access to all membership areas/resources in its associated BOX as well as all resources available to downstream subgroups (bubbles) -- EXCEPT specific areas/content highlighted by the red text exceptions or permissioned items in gray.
  • The COLOR of each bubble and box depicts general membership areas (i.e., VIN, VSPNplus, VSPN, etc.)

For example:

This BLUE section of the BUBBLE DIAGRAM represents the VIN Community:

The BUBBLE with the solid border contains all VIN-MECAG subgroups that include veterinarians and veterinary students – the general VIN Membership.

The associated BOX lists the primary membership areas/resources accessible to those within the bubble – https://www.vin.com/

The DASHED BUBBLE contains non-veterinarians with teaching responsibility (VIN-MECAG subgroup E2). The Vet Only exception refers to membership areas/resources listed in the multicolored boxes. Those subgroups (E2 in this case) contained within the associated dashed bubble DO NOT have access to the listed resources (Veterinarian Only Message Board Folders in this example)

All individuals contained in these subgroups (Veterinarians and Veterinary Students, Non-Vet Academics at Veterinary Schools) and all subgroups upstream from this bubble have access to the membership areas/resources accessible to those within the bubble, as well as all membership areas/resources accessible to those within bubbles downstream (VSPNplus in this example)

The VIN-MECAG will continue to evolve this document. Send feedback to: Feedback@vin.com or Info@VSPN.org

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Notes

1. The letter 'I' was skipped to avoid confusion between the numeral one and the letter.
2. VSPNplus is not yet implemented. VSPNplus will be available to veterinary hospital support staff who are employed by VIN member hospitals. VSPNplus will provide staff working at VIN member's hospitals greater access to content and tools that will enable them to assist their veterinarians and other colleagues with research and calculators and other VIN tools that support patient care.
3. Organization Listings for Veterinary Schools, Veterinary Technician Schools, Industry, and Associations and Foundations have not yet been implemented.
4. The ability to disable Colleague Search is not yet implemented.



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Clinicians are reminded that you are ultimately responsible for the care of your patients. Any content that concerns treatment of your cases should be deemed recommendations by colleagues for you to consider in your case management decisions. Dosages should be confirmed prior to dispensing medications unfamiliar to you. To better understand the origins and logic behind these policies, and to discuss them with your colleagues, click here.

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CONTACT US

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vingram@vin.com

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