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Charges dropped, but practitioner is 'DVM No More'

Article

The emotional cost of defending oneself in a state-board investigation sometimes runs deep.

The emotional cost of defending oneself in a state-board investigation sometimes runs deep.

A practitioner with more than 30 years' experience recently sent a letter to his attorney, Linda H. Wyner, with the words "DVM No More" after his signature.

It meant he was giving up his practice.

"It was heartbreaking," says Wyner, who has defended many veterinarians in state-board cases. She was called to his defense late in the process, after the practitioner — Wyner said she cannot divulge his name or location — attempted to handle the matter by himself to that point.

"We turned the case on its ear," Wyner says, "and got the charges dismissed. But this was a very invasive, nasty, six-month ordeal for this doctor."

Wyner says the practitioner's wife called recently to inform her that the couple had received official notification that charges were dropped, but said that wouldn't change her husband's resolve to quit the profession.

"I did my best, but he says he's finished with being a veterinarian. He doesn't care that we got rid of the charges. It was his first — and his last — state-board inquiry. It became invasive and mean-spirited. He says he will never go through anything like it again.

"This was a classic case of a veterinarian who wanted to handle things by himself, without legal advice, as many do," Wyner says. "He ultimately won the battle (administrative action) but lost the war — his commitment to working in an overly regulated profession.

"It shows how important it is to have good representation from the start, as soon as you are notified of a complaint or are contacted by an investigator."

Will the doctor change his mind?

Wyner says she hopes so, but so far he seems firm in his decision.

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