Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Problem In Veterinary Medicine Exists In ONE Place, While The Answer Resides Everywhere.

The problem is the divide.

The divide can exist in education and intellect, a matter of resources, privileges and perspective. Or, it can exist in accessibility and willingness to assist.

Vet medicine is drifting to many of these divisions as the infrastructure for our services becomes more coldly organized, corporatized, and managed. Somewhere not too long ago we veterinarians needed help to become increasingly solvent in our business, (or lack there of), decisions. We were a profession of talented 'make-do' surgeons and 'Jack-of-all trades' practitioners and never the pencil pusher accountants everyone told us we should/needed to be. We lacked the business-infused intellect to help us grow out of our fledgling single owner practices into the shiny-gleaming white marbled fish tanked towers of our vision of what "successful" looked like. We were valuable, but, we just weren't bragging rights "profitable." Things changed. We surrendered the management of our practices to the suits to make easier money with less hard feelings and started to sacrifice those who we knew couldn't afford us to pay off our loans and increase our standards of care. The divide began.

Veterinary medicine is a profession built on trust. We are too poorly regulated and overseen to be anything else. The trust is never going to be present in any sort of guiding magnitude if it is built consistently and singularly on financial gain. They are inherently polar opposites. As the desire/need/cost increases and the inability to meet them rises, the trust decreases. It is the nature of humanities basis being neglected intentionally for profit.

There are endless days I spend stuck in the dilemma of "unmet need" meets "unwilling ability." It is what the experts would call 'ethical dilemmas' and trying to carry the weight of the increasingly indifferent world on your shoulders. I get asked, advised, and notified on a daily basis about the dangers of this predicament and my unwillingness to not walk away from them. Desperation breeds innovation and/or despair. I am stuck here trying to solve this great divide and looking into the desperate AND treatable eyes of the forgotten/unprofitable as I do so.

Me and Dimples.
Rescued by me from the local shelter, heartworm positive and a pit bull.
Needs love, care, and someone to vouch for her deserving a second chance.
She is one of the many faces we dispose of too easily.
She is one of the many reasons we lose our souls when we make excuses to forget these lives matter.

Every single day I am asked to provide some veterinary need or service to a client who has been turned away elsewhere. It is the second opinion for affordable options that someone else can provide but won't, usually because of inability to meet a standard of care that makes the cost inaccessible (or so they say?). Every day I am asked to help. Everyday I am faced with unwillingness and unmet need. Too often at life threatening crisis status state. The degree of unmet need is overwhelming. The depth of emotional ties that people have to their pets is also undeniable.

People LOVE their pets. Why are we ALL not starting here? Why are we starting at "ability to pay" as the measure of acceptable pet parent worth?

Henry. The face of cerebellar hypoplasia.
His devoted mom is fighting to bring awareness and compassion to these kittens.

When did the veterinary medicine goal become anything else other than providing assistance to save lives? Can't we all agree on this being the seat of the veterinarians soul?

I often feel stuck, tortured, and tormented by need versus ability and this great divide. I know I am not alone. There are others out there who love and care for pets, animals, and feel burdened and compelled to help them. We are being pulled emotionally, physically and ethically as the rest push them away.

Jasmine, our second PB heartworm positive rescue.
Both looking for a home and a sponsor.

The divide is also polarizing the ends of the spectrum. Caught in the middle are those of us, (overwhelmingly women, does anyone ask why this is?), who feel alone, abandoned and asking themselves where to go? We have to chose a side. Too often this act of inner reflection feels as if it will cost us our livelihood, or, our community. Too often we instead chose to give up on ourselves as we cannot chose.

Innovation is the child of conflict and this divide is ripe, ready, and in desperate need for disruption.

What if we fractured the system so significantly it forced the current managed systems to meet the pleas of the divide instead of growing it? What if the part of the equation that limits public social assistance is the key to the answer of the problem? What if we leveraged the worst part of the animal care equation to be the tipping point for revolutionary change?


What if obsession to solve a problem allows innovation that pushes boundaries, redefines public access, and empowers the person as a being and not a "thing"? They are all related. They are all the keys to the problem and the keys to the solution.

Luna, shelter rescue, learning to trust again even after humans have failed her.

Radical change is coming. The forces, the polarity, and the divide will collide and the demand, the integrity and the ultimate survival will become mandatory as it becomes transparent. The meek will inherit the destiny that compassion and trust inhabit. It is where this profession came from, and it is the place we will go back to. Less death lives there.

Related blogs;

Find What Breaks Your Heart and Change It.

Gratitude; The Grace That Hardship Brings. 

Mobbing and Lobbying, The Backlash to the Video Rant.

Ethical Fatigue and the Crossroad of Vet Med and the Public Conscious Awakening

Affordable Options Are Everyone's Right.

More information on me, my YouTube channel, my company, and my vet clinic Jarrettsville Veterinary Center, and my clinics Facebook page, are all available to you and your pets needs anytime. Almost all of this is FREE! We are an Army of activists set on saving lives, our own included. Join us. You are all welcome and all pets are loved here.

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