Monday, March 31, 2014

The Challenging Nature of Relationships With Medical Professionals

Last week our sweet little fur baby Gypsy was injured by a vet tech who clearly wasn't properly trained or experienced enough to restrain a dog who is freaking out during a nail trim. The nail trim happened behind closed doors - I don't know why they always insist on taking them away for some care but they do. When it was all done and we returned home Gypsy was clearly not the same. She was jumping at every little sound, she cried out in pain when I picked her up, her posture and movements showed that she was in some pain (especially after a long nap), she was clinging to me more than usual, fearful of sounds and not interested in playing. Several hours later a bright red thumb shaped bruise developed at the base of her sternum. Someplace hands should not have been if she was being properly restrained.
Speaking with the vet who owns the practice was a complete waste of time. He simply refused to believe that the injury she received was the result of mishandling by the vet tech. He made this assessment without seeing her, without seeing the injury and without knowing what happened behind those closed doors. He said that he had never seen a dog bruise as a result of being restrained so he couldn't believe that is what happened here. He completely invalidated my concerns and tried to make it sound like I don't know what I'm talking about.

Apparently he is much more interested in being right than in correcting problems that clearly exist within his practice so these problems will continue and other animals will be mishandled. My hands are tied. Other than leaving bad reviews everywhere I can online there is nothing more I can do and that drives me crazy - on several levels. One thing is for sure, I will never again let one of my pets be taken behind closed doors AND we will go ahead and drive to our old neighborhood to our old vet and nail trimmer for all future care.

Over the past several days as I've kicked this around in my head over and over I can't help but see the similarities between how the owner of this vet clinic treated me and how I've been treated by some doctors when trying to get help with my chronic pain. The defensive nature of how they respond when you try to question or challenge something that is going on. The refusal to believe something is real just because they don't understand or have no experience with it. The blind faith in others in their field and a universal distrust of the patient, using broad generalizations to make assumptions instead of delving into the specific details of the situation. 

It's so maddening. I truly believe most doctors (for animals and humans) want to be healers. These interactions are complex and challenging for all parties involved. Communication is terrible, we don't understand each other. We are not forming partnerships. Insurance companies, bottom lines, time constraints, burn out, frustrations and countless other factors are influencing these relationships. Far too often we end up just failing to make progress. There has got to be a better way. 

How do we even begin to tackle a problem this large in scope and this deeply entrenched?

1 comment:

  1. I hope Gypsy heals quickly, poor puppy. I wouldn't go back either.