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Why are vets nicer than human doctors?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I don't know if everyone's vet is like this but mine is.

Today I called the vet about which of 2 meds would be ok to give Pong for his eye. I explained the situation and which two drugs I was wondering about. He told me to use either one that I have because he routinely prescribes both of them for eye issues. So yeah I was happy.

But call a human doctor and ask similar questions. They want you to come in pay a lot of money etc before they will tell you anything. Why can't human doctors be as nice as vets.
post #2 of 19
I've been wondering this for a very long time. I've even said if I could go to the vet myself I'd be one happy camper.

Hmm... maybe I should just stop shaving for a while...
post #3 of 19
Vets realize how stressful an office visit can be for pets. Far too many doctors are probably exposed to hypochondriacs who make doctors' visits a hobby.
post #4 of 19
our doctors are different. we dont pay to see them we only pay for meds we need when we get to the chemist. my vet will never say something is ok to give with out seeing the animal which then is a £30.00 seeing charge.
post #5 of 19
Maybe because us humans are more likely to bite!

I got 'lost' in the eye doctor's office today. After an hour and a half of waiting I finally got up and asked (they were super swamped) and they had misplaced my chart, though they know me by face so hadn't called me up to check me in. (only been there 5 times now since Thrusday of last week!) I got seen real fast after that though!
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom View Post
...if I could go to the vet myself I'd be one happy camper.

Hmm... maybe I should just stop shaving for a while...
post #7 of 19
But come to think of it... I can think of at least a couple of reasons why most vets might be nicer than most doctors:

1. People who choose to become doctors usually expect to become wealthy from it. I think people going into vet care are less likely to think that way... and more likely to enter the business primarily because they love animals. (Pleaase notice that I said "usually!")

2. Doctors (in America) are at the mercy of unconscionably abusive malpractice insurance rates, so they take a lot of precautions to protect themselves... and that often costs the patient money.

3. With all due respect to my own species, I have to say: maybe vets are usually nicer than doctors because animals are usually nicer than people.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
3. With all due respect to my own species, I have to say: maybe vets are usually nicer than doctors because animals are usually nicer than people.
i think that is terribly true!

When DH had hearing loss (note: musician) from a cold he couldn't see ANY doctor for at least a week and a half. But when one of my cats cough or sneeze they can be see either that day or the next. He always says that his cats have better care than he does.
post #9 of 19
I love both my human doc and my vet, but I did pick them out myself through referrals, research, and word of mouth.
post #10 of 19
Human doctors are over worked and probably stressed out because there are human lives in their hands.

Vets jobs are serious as well of course...but it takes a softer heart in the first place to care for animals. I think some of them are more nurturing and caring because of their love of animals.

I don't know though..just what I came up with.
post #11 of 19
I don't know... I've had good doctors of both, and yucky doctors of both. I do like that vets don't make me wear paper gowns or give me shots.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
3. With all due respect to my own species, I have to say: maybe vets are usually nicer than doctors because animals are usually nicer than people.
I'd have to agree with that, even though I know you were kidding.

My answer was going to be that animals don't talk back and use the internet to diagnose themselves and tell the doctor they're wrong.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
But come to think of it... I can think of at least a couple of reasons why most vets might be nicer than most doctors:

1. People who choose to become doctors usually expect to become wealthy from it. I think people going into vet care are less likely to think that way... and more likely to enter the business primarily because they love animals. (Pleaase notice that I said "usually!")
Somewhat true, but a lot of us actually want to help people . The pay is compensation for the expertise, actual cost, compensation for education/training ($160,000 undergraduate college + $200,000 medical school + loans while you're making the salary of a fastfood manager while working 90-100+ hr/wk for th 3-10 yrs of training after the 7 yrs of school), and long hours, etc. And the "schooling" never ends...you have to take tests all the time even after you've graduated and finished training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
2. Doctors (in America) are at the mercy of unconscionably abusive malpractice insurance rates, so they take a lot of precautions to protect themselves... and that often costs the patient money.
Yeah. *abusive* is a key word. HMOs, lawyers, insurance companies -- you have to cover yourself b/c people will sue for every stupid little thing, and you have to fight insurance companies to get your patients the care they deserve -- it's a waste of time and money (often have to hire a special person just to deal w/ insurance claims, a separate person for billing, a separate receptionist, nurse, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
3. With all due respect to my own species, I have to say: maybe vets are usually nicer than doctors because animals are usually nicer than people.
Definitely true. Do vets have to deal w/ drug-seeking patients, patients who lie about their symptoms, patients who are malingering, patients who will be non-compliant and then are displeased b/c they're not getting better, patients who want you to lie to their families about their illness, pushy parents who insist on antibiotics for their kid's cold (which doesn't get cured by antibiotics b/c it's a virus, but parents yell at you anyway, call you incompetent, throw fits, etc.), patients who ask you to help them cheat the system by getting govt compensation/can't work notices/disability pay, etc. when they're just fine?

The system is , insurance companies are , sketchy lawyers are , and yeah, some docs are flatout chumps . But there are a lot of people who really do care about the people and healing, and that's why they're in it.

As for not being able to see a doc right away w/o waiting 2 wks, that's the system at work -- insurance and hospitals force docs to overbook, schedule short appts, etc. And most docs will answer your questions w/o charge; most things that really need to be addressed by a doc require you to be seen (who's going to risk their license by prescribing blindly?)

(Hm, just imagine a drug-seeking cat -- kinda funny, though, huh?)
post #14 of 19
Oh gosh, I didn't mean to imply that getting rich is all doctors care about! It's much too demanding a job for that to be the case. What it takes just to get through med school is enough to deter most of us from even trying! And the level of debt they start their careers with... I sure couldn't handle that kind of stress.

No, I only meant that the potential for long-term wealth is generally higher for doctors than for vets, and therefore may be a bigger factor in the decision to become a doctor.

Since we're talking about this, though, let me tell you about two wonderful doctors I know who can't possibly be getting rich... I don't even see how they get any sleep! Dr. G is an ophthalmic surgeon and Dr. P is a geriatric specialist who is now working in a practice where he accepts patients of all ages (which is why I'm able to go to him).

They both work appalling hours in order to fit in all the Medicare patients who need them -- unlike many doctors in this area, who won't accept Medicare patients at all. They both believe in taking however long they need with each patient, which means they work late every day and suffer a lot of abuse for running behind. They're genuinely concerned, caring people who listen well and explain well. And because I haven't been able to work in a long while and have no insurance, they both give me the Medicare price when I have to come in! I still can't believe they're so kind! And I have glaucoma that requires some very expensive eyedrops, but Dr. G keeps me so well supplied with samples that I only have to buy them a couple of times a year.

Here's my favorite story about Dr. G, our ophthalmic surgeon: one of his elderly patients told him about her husband, a 96-year-old man who had been blind for 40 years. They had heard several years earlier that there was a new operation that had a small chance of restoring his sight, but they had never found a doctor willing to perform it on a man his age -- too much liability. But Dr. G took the risk and did the surgery, and at the age of 96, this man was suddenly able to see again!

So no, of course money is not the only motivator. In fact, I think there's genuine altruism in the hearts of the vast majority of doctors.
post #15 of 19
Thanks for showing both sides, CarolPetunia!

Too bad medicine's not like it used to be (the really old docs, now retiring, have the best stories about taking care of their patients and how all that changed w/ the advent of crazy lawsuits and HMOS, and ridiculous big-pharma-pricing, etc.): (BTW some interesting letters to the editor this Sunday in the New York Times, esp. the one from the econ prof from Princeton, Uwe Reinhardt...)

What I want to know is why the docs in Ping's area are such chumps! I think she should write to her local Health Dept., mayor, hospital director, local/state OB/GYN board, etc. to let them know what she's been through!! Is this a GA problem, a rural area problem, a SE US problem???
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Its more because we are a rural area I believe. There is maybe 15,000 people on average in our whole county. There are only 2 Ob/Gyns in my whole county. We only have something like 42 different specailty doctors for our whole county. You have to drive at least an hour away to see anyone else. And because its a small rural farming community not everyone has the money to travel to see a better doctor. Lets put it this way my middle son has to see a cleft team a few times a year we drive about 400(maybe more) miles one way just to see his cleft team.
post #17 of 19
If people couldn't talk, suppose we would be more tolerant of each other?
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taurus77 View Post
If people couldn't talk, suppose we would be more tolerant of each other?
That's probably true, too!

Ping -- wow, you hold up well given all that you and your family have to go through . Cleft teams (I'm assuming you mean cleft lip/palate) are pretty rare; there's actually a plastics guy at one of the hospitals my school is associated w/ that's an amazing craniofacial guy (he helped separate a pair of conjoined twins 1-2 yrs ago -- they were joined at the head). (Reconstruction is actually what I'm thinking of getting into, e.g. burns, skin grafts, post-cancer reconstruction, and craniofacial & micro surgeries )

Too bad there isn't a medical school in your area. Schools are always associated w/ a bunch of hospitals and run several clinics and the docs are pretty passionate about medicine. I think you would have been seen already. It's just so unfair, there are tons of med schools & hospitals in the NYC area, and "everyone" wants to stay in NYC (or go back to California!) after training. Hopefully, the schools in the South retain their trainees and some go into rural med.) Seriously, I think you should complain to your local officials, though. They need to work out some sort of system w/ the medical training programs in your state to ensure that adequate care is attainable by everyone.

Here are some healing vibes...keep us posted after the Thurs appt...
post #19 of 19
LOL at the drug seeking cat ....
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