Nicest Vet Not Always The Best Veterinarian
When selecting a veterinarian, mechanic, or doctor, “nice” seems to be the only quality some people consider. Today “niceness” replaces experience as a credential.
October 26, 2020
We all love to hear how nice someone is but that doesn’t reveal a person’s skill level. This “niceness–blindness” is now infecting new pet owners who are selecting a veterinarian.
To me “niceness” is not necessary when selecting a veterinarian but knowledge and experience are imperative. I want to have a relationship with my 'nice vet', I want my veterinarian to know something about me and my pet, but I also want to be very aware of my vet’s abilities and skill level. A good relationship with my veterinarian does not require that he or she tell me what I want to hear. It does however, require them to tell me what I need to know.
I want the best for my pets even if it means my ego might get bruised along the way. During the life of my pet, my veterinarian and I will share victories and together we will share the losses. When it is time to end the pain and suffering of my pet, my veterinarian and I will make that decision together, knowing we have done our best.
Veterinarians today, in their new Taj Mahal clinics, do not have the time to speak with or learn about new clients. Their clinics are too big, the bills are too high, and the appointments are too many. Instead of the veterinarian introducing themselves, more staff is hired to do the introduction. Today’s ‘veterinarians’ are taught early, in universities, how to brush aside a client with a smile and clipboard in hand.
They have also mastered the art of the ‘now you see me now you don’t’ examination. Clinics today employ lots of “nice” young people. They are hired to drag your pet from room to room in an attempt to look diligent. They offer advice and tell you how “nice” the veterinarian is. It all seems so impressive. Sadly, most of these young people have even less experience than the owner who brought their pet to the clinic. The slightly higher up clinic staffers, are called veterinarian technicians. Clients at these new-age clinics see the vet-tech more often than they see the actual veterinarian. Technicians are used to move clients through appointments quickly.
Simply said, the veterinarian technician is the buffer zone between veterinarian and the pet owning client. The “vet–tech” enables the clinic to free up time in order to book more appointments. In most cases, Veterinary Technicians in today’s clinics do the heavy lifting. They give inoculations, examine the animals and prep them for procedures. The vet-tech may even prep and euthanize your pet with their kindly smile. I have had 2 dogs in Pennsylvania put down by veterinarian technicians and not the veterinarian. I know other people in other states tht have had technicians euthanize their animals.
Although I have always considered euthanasia a very private matter between client and veterinarian, today it is not. Today you are escorted into a waiting room while often times your pet is taken away to another room. There he or she is poked and prodded with IV ports, muscle relaxers, etc. which are not needed but these added services pay the bills at these large clinics. What used to be a private, instant relief of pain and misery has become a “nice” 30 minute execution.
Where are the Veterinarians of Yesteryear??? The hired help today does what the old-school vet used to do personally every day. The veterinarians then were not always nice, they were often overworked and sometimes forgot to say “nice” things but everything was done by the vet.
Sometimes they didn’t make the “nicest” 1st impression because they were tired from working all night taking care of sick animals. Even though they were not always “nice” they always took time to meet us. Older veterinarians, especially large animal vets who obviously came to you, used their knowledge and experience to tell us the truth about our animal’s health. The truth is not always “nice” but the truth is what we need to know.
Those old-school vets were not always “nice” when answering your phone call in the middle of the night but - they actually answered your phone call and if needed, they met you at the clinic.
It wasn’t always “nice” when the older veterinarian made us sit for an extra hour in the waiting room because of an emergency. However, we were always glad to know that if WE had an emergency, we could count on our vet. I have heard it said that “the man who smiles all the time doesn’t really know what is going on” and I believe this to be true. As long as the only skill we require of our veterinarian is to be “nice” our pets will suffer. The older, wiser, talented veterinarian, who is not always the most pleasant person will disappear.
The wise veterinarian will be replaced with blank stares and smiles on the faces of strangers. They may not be the veterinarian, they may not even be a veterinarian technician but you can be assured they will be “nice”!
Related Veterinarian Article: Where Have All The Good Vets Gone?
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