Ethics quiz results: Accountability should rank high - DVM
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Ethics quiz results: Accountability should rank high


Specialists critique medical records and radiographs all the time and yet would hesitate to give direct feedback.

Commentary by Dr. Kipperman

In reviewing the responses to the questions about referrals, it's encouraging to find that the medical condition of the pet and the perceived degree of advocacy of the client ranked highest in determining the decision to refer. On the discouraging side, our assumption or perception of the client's ability to pay still clearly impacts the decision as to advising referral. This is in agreement with my own and Kathy Yerger's experiences in referral practices as well.

This paternalistic view that we must protect the client's resources is in my opinion, misguided, and is detrimental to overall patient health care. The legal consequences of this mindset have been addressed by Robert Newman; this also emphasizes the importance of supporting a third party source of financing pet health care, as Dr. Branam points out. This may help alleviate the practitioner's perceived "burden" regarding the costs of specialty care.


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