Judge Tilzer and The Doctors: Thanks, Sterling Optical!

A dog or cat with a fracture in a leg will not use that leg. Even if you pick up the other leg, it will roll down onto the fractured leg. They will bear no weight on a limb fracture.

But that does not mean if the dog will not bear weight on the leg, that it is fractured.  This is too much for some veterinarians to keep in mind. So they need x-rays. Even as the pet is walking around. And they will find nothing because cartilage and tendon lesions do not show up on x-rays but that is never explained to the consumer. 

A cat with a fever of any significance will not eat. But that does not mean a cat without a fever will eat. And, it does not mean that a cat that is not eating has a fever.

This is way too much for some veterinarians to keep in mind. So they need bloodwork. (They also need the % commission on that blood work.)

I haven’t seen this in print anywhere in an employees manual, but there is a “breadcrumbs, testing algorithm ‘rhetoric, a party-line“ at work in certain veterinary practices, especially at the franchise or corporate level. And that is the “stock answer“ to any question being asked:

“What’s wrong with my pet?”

“We should be able to answer that question with the results of a few tests.”

[The test results indicate this problem.]

“What’s the prognosis?”

“We should be able to tell with the results of a few tests.”

“What are the chances of my pet survival?”

“We should be able to tell with the results of a few tests.”

“OK so we know it’s un-treatable, is there anything that would buy time?”

“We should be able to tell with the results of a few tests.”

“This looks really hopeless, should I put my pet to sleep?”

“We should be able to tell with the results of a few tests.”

If you get that answer over and over again from a doctor at the franchise, please realize you are feeding a commissions-based machine. 

Shareholder businesses are opened exclusively for profit.

Private practices in general, were started by some “sciencey”-kid who got out of Vet school and needed someplace to practice. And maybe they didn’t want to work for somebody else. But then, down the road, corporations noticed that they were making decent money, so they decided to come in and cherry pick the more profitable revenue streams in a private practice, and open businesses based on these services, and exclusively on profit.”

And you might say “well, that’s capitalism.” But it was only ONE federal court Justice, Judge Tilzer, in 1960, who thought that doctors AND (remarkably) NON-doctor Executives within corporations, in fact should be able make decisions in your healthcare based principally on profit. Nobody else thought that, prior to Judge Tilzer. 

https://drjohnson.com/the-takeover-of-veterinary-practices-by-non-veterinary-owners-who-are-motivated-chiefly-or-solely-by-profit/

“What should we do? I think either way we are likely to compromise the patient.“

“It doesn’t really matter what WE think. Some ‘Financial-guy’ is coming down from Corporate  to tell us what to do. I’m sure it won’t be in the best interest of the patient.“

Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.

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