• One Health
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Editor's Note: Complaints are up; so is the quality of care


It started with one simple, undocumented question: "Are complaints against veterinarians on the rise nationally?"

It started with one simple, undocumented question: "Are complaints against veterinarians on the rise nationally?"

Daniel R. Verdon

The answer is yes, according to DVM Newsmagazine's inquiry of 50 state government agencies charged with policing the veterinary profession. And it triggers yet another salvo of questions about the long-term impact and changing market dynamic for this profession.

With exclusive research and a host of interviews with leaders, regulators and practitioners, this two-month series explores the sometimes-explosive relationship between doctor and client. What are the costs to you as a clinician, and the costs to the practice in terms of credibility and liability?

People complain. And for the most part it's not always an indictment against your medical skills, but it may require more-frequent damage control and far better communication.

The Internet has broken down barriers to file grievances. State laws are opening access to public records. The human-animal bond drives pet ownership and pays for rising fees associated with care, while the quality of medicine and technology march forward. So much so veterinarians rate it as being on par or better than the care physicians provide to their communities, according to the latest DVM Newsmagazine statistics.

This series of stories strives to provide a balanced view of this regulatory process and help veterinarians better cope with medical complaints when they surface. It's meant to shed light on a process that many veterinarians reportedly view as a bureaucratic mystery cloaked, for the most part, in fear of reprisal. We invite your e-mails and letters. Let's talk about it online at www.dvmnews.com.

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