September 20, 2022

I need an appointment!

There is nothing more frustrating than having a sick pet and needing to be seen only to find out there are no available appointments without a work in/urgent fee or a drop-off exam! When your baby is ill and needs help, they take priority. We fully understand that and feel the same way. The challenge is, every other pet owner does, too. Who doesn't want their struggling dog, cat or exotic pet to be examined right away?

Why can't I get an appointment today?

Like you, other pet owners either pre-scheduled examinations or scheduled when they awoke and saw their pet was ill. We will take as many pets as we physically can examine and safely diagnose and treat. At some point, however, that number outweighs our ability to remain on schedule and places a burden on both the staff and our other pets and clients. As it becomes later in the day and the burden becomes larger, we lose both the ability to provide the level of quality and exceptional comprehensive service we need to provide and we must charge an additional fee for those we do work in to be able to compensate the staff for the overtime it generates to accomodate those pets. At some times, even work ins and drop offs are discontinued if we feel care may be compromised by attention being spread too thin over too many patients.

Why don't you just hire more veterinarians?

Good Question! We are all looking. First, it is important we only employ the highest caliber of doctors within our practice and we will not hire someone simply to fill a space. Your pets deserve an excellent fit that matches our culture and will practice the only the most comprehensive medicine!

Secondly, you may be unaware there is a national shortage of veterinarians available! Although new veterinarians graduate each year, many are lost to internships, industry and corporate jobs and the lure of opportunities where they may have a better work life balance than they believe practice can provide.

Additionally, since 2019, veterinarians are also quitting the field in unprecedented numbers due to emotional fatigue and burnout from, believe it or not, client abuse incurred over the decline in civility experienced across all client service professions the last few years. The combination of emotions running high, financial stress and illness in a pet they love can cause people to behave in ways they may not even realize are detrimental or abusive to those on the receiving end. Veterinarians and their staff deal with emotional turmoil daily as part of the job and the escalation has taken a toll on the profession as declining human relations and the internet have removed accountability for attacks in the last few years. Cyberbullying has even contributed to the unprecedented level of suicide within the profession. Sadly, these have contributed to a decrease in the number of veterinarians actively seeking new positions as some simply seek completely different ways to use their degrees.

How can you help your pet?

Don't wait until your pet has been sick for days to decide it must be seen immediately! It will be most difficult to obtain an appointment at the last minute. At the first sign something isn't right, call to set up an appointment. If the issue resolves, call back to cancel. Next, be patient if it is non emergent and we provide an appointment a day or two away. Finally, if we offer an urgent/work in or emergency appointment, arrive as soon as possible so we may work your pet in as soon as there is a moment. Even if you drop your pet off in the morning, we don't know when that examination work in moment may be, but if it is 11:12am, your pet should already be there so we can examine it prior to the next scheduled appointment. When you call to ask if we have seen your pet yet, please remember if it is a work in, it is exactly that, a work in. That means the scheduled pets will be seen on time and a work in will be seen, as able, around them. We are doing our best with work ins to accommodate urgent needs, but cannot guarantee times work in examinations will occur. Sometimes these will be early, other times they may be the last examinations we are able to perform. We will see them if we have offered the appointment, but we may not be able to see everyone in a timely manner if they were not previously scheduled. Please be patient with us and we will see as many pets as we possibly can.

Our goal is to provide compassionate, comprehensive care and we can only do that in a collaborative environment. We look forward to working together with you!