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Mult. vets in the same clinic - problem solved :)

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  • Mult. vets in the same clinic - problem solved :)

    Here's the deal. My regular vet didn't have any appointments available 1/9 when I needed a vet. Condition was something I didn't feel comfortable letting go over the weekend, as I'm working with chronic renal disease and have been for 4 years now. Another vet at the clinic did have an appointment available, so I scheduled with her to see him. We saw the vet, got an antibiotic, and things improved. Fast forward after 10 days, antibiotic is finished, symptoms return. I call, and leave a message. Same vet calls me back. Suggests we try a different antibiotic for 14 days. I say ok, but at this point I think the chronic condition is flaring up (kidney disease) and we need to try more than an antibiotic to get this under control again, as we went a full 18 months with no issues at all. She asks "what kidney disease?" The chronic renal disease that I discussed with her during the first appointment, that I reviewed with her IN the chart, and that my regular vet mentioned in the lab that afternoon after I drove in with a urine sample...that one. She says "weelllll... let's just try the antibiotics for now. The values are high, but it might just be from an infection, so this is the best plan." So begrudgingly, I say ok.

    Try the antibiotics again 1/23 through today, and symptoms are worse not better. So I call to make an appointment with my regular vet, who is fantastic, and has worked on this chronic condition + infections with me for the last 4 years...so knows what is going on and what works. The gatekeeper receptionist says "Since you started treating with Dr. X, you need to see them again." I explain that while yes, I have been treating with Dr. X this round, it was only because Dr. W was not available 1/9 and I didn't want to let this sit over the weekend without an antibiotic, and now the symptoms are getting worse, NOT better, and I want my regular vet to treat this, as we have been treating this condition off and on for years, and she knows the history and what works/doesn't work. They will not give me an appointment with regular vet, and say it will hurt Dr. X's feelings. I told them I don't give a flying fruitbat about Dr. X's feelings, I am paying for this and my animal is suffering, and I want to see my vet. They say "Well, Dr. X has an appointment available today at 2" so I hung up.

    I KNOW for a fact that if my vet knew I was trying to see her, she'd schedule us an appointment right away... but before I physically go to the clinic and cause a scene...is it unreasonable for me to want to use my vet?? I have never used another vet for him...ever. My regular vet hired this new girl to help lighten the caseload, which is fine, but for the office staff to now tell me I can't make an appointment with my vet? The owner of the clinic?
    Last edited by FindersKeepers; Jan. 26, 2009, 10:45 AM.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

  • #2
    Can't you just call your vet directly?

    If not, you need to tell the receptionist that you need to speak to her and that you must be put through. Feelings be damned. If you are not happy with your horse's condition, you should be able to speak to which ever vet in the practice you want.

    The practice I use has multiple vets. They consult with each other on issues so generally you get a global view on your horse's health. However, if you want to speak to one in particular, that's not a problem. Maybe I'm lucky that our vets give out their mobile numbers so you can reach them directly.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    • #3
      FWIW, my guess is that the receptionist has been given general instructions on how to handle calls, and is doing what she is told....If you have never been in those shoes ( receptionist ) know that sometimes no matter what you do, someone is going to be pissed....In this case it is you....Can't say I blame you....

      I guess in your case I would probably leave a message for your original vet to call you at her convenience as you have an ongoing issue....If the receptionist is being somewhat passive-aggressive about this issue, this might make her relax a bit and chill her tone....

      I suppose it wouldn't hurt to let her know in a sweety voice that at some point you will have contact with the original vet and are not particularly happy how this whole thing was handled and "gee, is that really the conversation you want to have with your boss".... ( yeah, I know, I have the passive-aggressive gene a bit too)

      Good luck to you...
      Crayola Posse: Mulberry


      • #4
        Both the practice I use now and the one I had before this has 2 vets...one whom I really like and one whom I do NOT. I had the office put on their file the following (since I did go through this a few times client requests Dr. A/ is only to see Dr. B in an emergency and Dr. A is not available.
        Providence Farm


        • Original Poster

          Forgot to mention...she wouldn't put me through to the vet's phone or voicemail, just kept trying to get me to schedule an appointment with the other vet...which is why I am now going into the clinic in person to talk to my vet. (she has clinic hours all day, and is only on the road for emergencies on Mondays)

          I just wanted to make sure I wasn't over-reacting before walking in there. I get really maternal over this poor guy, and sometimes worry I'm going a little too far with my demands...
          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


          • #6
            As has been said, I expect the receptionist is doing as she has been told.

            That said, you need to make a polite but firm fuss about it.
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


            • #7
              No it is not unreasonable to want the vet of your choice.

              Our horse veterinary practice has numerous vets, and I understand that "our vet" a skilled surgeon, is too busy now to come out and give shots, etc. (He used to do so years ago, but now sends his associates for routine calls.)
              Our other option is to drive over to the practice in SC and have any vet on duty treat the horses.

              Right now we have a very good vet coming over to treat our horses, so all is well. However we once had one who was not so good and who deliberately misled me into agreeing to a dex shot that nearly killed my mare. The vet up there isn't named Alice, is she?

              When I used BAC in Atlanta, they had a board with all the names of the vets who were working that day, and we could pick and choose. Or make an appt. if "our" vet wasn't on duty. And BAC had a separate group of surgeons.
              So be nice, but ask that you get "your" vet back for treatment of your horse.


              • #8
                Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post
                Forgot to mention...she wouldn't put me through to the vet's phone or voicemail, just kept trying to get me to schedule an appointment with the other vet...which is why I am now going into the clinic in person to talk to my vet. (she has clinic hours all day, and is only on the road for emergencies on Mondays)

                I just wanted to make sure I wasn't over-reacting before walking in there. I get really maternal over this poor guy, and sometimes worry I'm going a little too far with my demands...
                No, you are not being unreasonable. There have been certain situations where I have asked for one vet over another because of their area of expertise or because I have a better relationship with one. There's one vet in my practice who will answer questions with no equivocations and it's just easier to deal with that style; another who takes a more holistic approach that I sometimes prefer.

                In this situation I might mention to your preferred vet (when you speak to her) that you are uncomfortable with how the calls are being fielded and ask if there has been a policy change. If your vet is the owner of the practice she will appreciate hearing about how her practice is represented over the phone. I periodically tell the vet who owns my practice my experience (good and bad) so that he knows what I'm experiencing. Luckily, mostly I can report good things!
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                • #9
                  Practice owners often don't realize that the insensitivity and stupidity of their receptionists leads to a lot of unhappy clients. The receptionist was probably given general instructions but has created her own system that does not represent what the vets would like her to be saying. For example, several years ago I called in to the new veterinary practice that we planned to use after our longtime vet retired. My horse had broken the latches on the feed room door and eaten several bags of grain. The person who answered the phone told me not to worry about it and to just check his pulses twice a day. She made it clear that I was not going to get to talk with anyone else. I decided that we would not be using that vet practice in the future. The practice we use now does not have a receptionist. You leave a message for the vet or call the emergency pager that he always carries.

                  Show up at the clinic and talk with your vet. Also, ask if she has an email address or a direct number where you can leave messages in the future. Tell the vet about your dealings with the receptionist.


                  • #10
                    Your vet probably has lots of clients, and the other vet probably doesn't have a large client base. Maybe because she is new or maybe because she doesn't have the manner that we want when our animals are ill and need vet care.
                    But it's not your fault or your responsibility to be her client. If there is a head vet, talk to him/her. if not, and they are equial partners, go see your vet and tell her you want her to treat your horse.


                    • Original Poster

                      UPDATE! Problem solved.

                      I called the test results line instead of the general line, and spoke to a vet tech, who immediately made an appointment for us today at 2:30 with my vet. She has been there as long as we have used them, and didn't hesitate one bit.

                      She said the receptionist was told to try and keep people with the new vet, if they start treating with her, because she was throwing a fit about not getting many patients, but that she never should have denied me the option to schedule with my vet, as we are existing patients.

                      I knidly explained that I have no problem with the new vet, but in this case would feel more comfortable having him treated by someone that knows the whole history.

                      So thanks for the support. I certainly understand where the receptionist was coming from, and I get the idea they are going to talk to her some more about this new situation and blantantly refusing requests.

                      But none of that matters now. My guy will be seen this afternoon and hopefully on the road to feeling better very soon. Crisis averted.

                      And cloudy, the vet's name isn't Alice hahaha... I think it's all just a big miscommunication, and I really tried to be nice, and didn't take it out on the receptionist too much (I work a customer service position, so I get the never making the person on the other end of the phone happy bit...) but I'm really on edge and worried...and being told I can't see my vet struck a cord...
                      Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                      • #12
                        So glad things worked out.