Veterinary clinical practice is a hybrid business model. A veterinary hospital is a medical facility that prioritizes the
health and welfare of pet patients, but it's also a for-profit small business that must achieve and maintain a positive bottom
line in order to survive. There's no government subsidy and little, if any, third party payment.
Dr. Carl discovered that one of his competitors was stealing from the government to enhance his bottom line. He was doing
this by enticing his clientele to make cash payments for services. The combination of these actions caused Dr. Carl to lose
clients. The playing field designed by the government, the veterinary community and society was no longer level. Dr. Carl
spoke to his colleague and was rebuffed. Unfortunately, Dr. Carl chose to stop any further efforts to correct what was clearly
unfair and illegal.
At this point many would say that pursuing this issue would make Dr. Carl a "snitch." Nonsense. This is simply a term for
someone who doesn't have the character to stand up for what is moral and honest. Dr. Carl's colleague was benefiting himself
and his clients by stealing from the government and secondarily from his fellow veterinarians. He'd had his warning.
I would have informed the IRS of my competitor's illegal activity. I also would not stand behind the cloak of anonymity. This
might make me unpopular, but it is the honest, ethical and professional way to deal with subterfuge when it greets you.
Dr. Marc Rosenberg
is director of the Voorhees Veterinary Center in Voorhees, N.J. He is a member of the New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical