You and Your Veterinarian: Partners in Health
Selecting a veterinarian is a personal choice, much like selecting your family physician or dentist. In choosing a veterinarian, your goals should be to find the doctor that best meets your needs and to establish a long-term relationship. A veterinarian will maintain a history of your pet, equine or other animal, including health records that detail immunizations, reactions to medications, behavior traits, etc.
If you've just moved, you will want to locate a veterinarian soon. Don't wait until your pet becomes ill; you want to establish a relationship right away. Your veterinarian can give you with information on special climate concerns for your pet. In addition, since traveling can be a stressful experience for a pet, an early check-up may be in order.
It is a good idea to start thinking about selecting a veterinarian before a new pet or animal joins your family. In fact, a veterinarian can assist you in selecting a pet or animal that complements your personality, work schedule and home life.
Considerations in Selecting a Veterinarian
What are the doctor's regular office hours? Are they compatible with your schedule? Who covers the practice when the doctor is unavailable?
How are routine telephone calls handled? If there is more than one veterinarian in the practice, can you request an appointment with a specific veterinarian? Do you feel comfortable talking with the doctor?
Fees and Payment
What methods of payment are accepted? Is immediate payment expected on the day of visit? Are credit cards accepted? Is pet insurance accepted?
What is the range of services that the veterinary hospital provides?
How are emergency calls handled during regular office hours and after regular office hours?
Is the practice clean and orderly? Are there any unpleasant odors?
Is the veterinarian a member of a professional veterinary association?
Do you understand the hospital's policies and procedures?
From the American Veterinary Medical Association
Generosity of Veterinarians
|Many times when it comes to pets in need of veterinary attention, more than often people don’t hesitate to expect the veterinarian to offer a big discount or treat an animals for free. When this does not occur, many times people are disappointed, and even outraged if the veterinarian does not meet these expectations. But understand that veterinarians have put in time, money, and schooling to provide your animal with healthcare, and should be expected to be treated with respect and consideration that their practice is a business as well. However, although it may be looked upon as too expensive, veterinarians are generous and will go the extra mile to provide your animal with appropriate healthcare, without the clients even knowing.
When veterinarians receive their license, they are taking an oath to care for and provide adequate health care to animals. With that being said, many times veterinarians are a humble crowd and do many things that you, the pet owner, are sometimes not aware of.
They give up their time: Many times veterinarians don’t want to leave the hospital or their clinic. They use their free time to accommodate walk-ins or complete diagnosis, medical records, return phone calls, check on patients, and take emergencies surgeries if needed. They usually stay late in order to make sure every animal is seen.Less painful procedures: For example, many times veterinarians will pull an injectable drug with one needle and switch out the needle so your pets get a new perfectly sharp and less painful needle for the injections. This can increase the costs of veterinary equipment and double the cost in needles. But, they will take the extra cost in order to comfort a client’s pet out of kindness. High-quality surgical practices: This includes the kind of surgical care pets receive and the access and equipment they have in case something goes wrong. Bathing your pet: Despite receiving appropriate bathroom breaks, veterinarian practices never send home dirty animals. When thinking about how much groomers usually charge, understand that veterinarians are doing this for free. Taking clients’ phone calls: Usually when calling a medical doctor for yourself, people always get stuck talking to a nurse. However, vets are the opposite. They put in a lot of time and generate no revenue by talking the time to return phone calls and provide phone time with their clients. They value personalized connection with clients and their animals. Talking with other vets: Unknown to clients, veterinarians take a lot of time, on their own clock, consulting with other vets about unusual cases, tips, and advice. Without clients even knowing, they may be getting multiple expert opinions. Reviewing reactions of medications: Good vets take the time to educate the client and make sure the client is aware of a drug’s side effect and how it should be administered. Additional information: Veterinarians take the time to go above and beyond health care and provide clients with tips, personalized instructions, step-by-step treatments, and advice on how to make small diagnosis of the clients animals. Once again, spending the extra time and having a conversation with a client provides no additional revenue for the vet. However, veterinarians understand an animals well being and how the pet owner can do to have the happiest and healthiest pet possible. Saving your money: Although reading a bill, veterinarians may look quite expensive, but understand they always have a pet owner’s budget in mind. For instance, they are always willing to write prescriptions, when possible, to get generic drugs elsewhere, such as Target or Walmart, where hundred of drugs are available--sometimes less than $4 a month! Instead of spending all the pet owner’s money on pills, the vet allows the pet to get the medication needed as well as a diagnostic to ensure they are treating the right diseases.