We had a valued client who was a farmer south of town. He was in his eighties and worked his farm until a few months prior to his passing. One of his sayings that were a favorite of mine was, “I don’t mind wearing out but I sure didn’t want to rust out”. The implication was a few of his neighbors had set around and rusted out from disuse instead of wearing out from many years of hard work as he had done. I have always wanted to do the same, wear out not rust out. As I continue to age I have found I am wearing out a little sooner than I had planned.
But wait! I am living in the twenty-first century where the possibility of receiving bionic replacements is a reality, not just a fantasy on Star Trek. So about two years ago I started to make plans for some updates on my aging veterinarian body. My plan was to replace a knee that had received a pretty good injury from a run-in with a sixteen hundred pound dairy cow some twenty years ago. Today all trails to major surgery lead through physicians with specialty training on every body system that may show any suspicion of having a problem. Most of us do not have in our phone’s contact list a specialist for all branches of human medicine. My contacts now have a list of many. After visiting several specialists, my to-do list had grown, and many more visits to my staff of doctors were necessary.
My purpose is not to promote sympathy, however if it makes you feel better, I will accept it. What this process did do was allow me the opportunity to view the plight of a client in an office of medical professionals, an office much like our office at Littleton Equine Medical Center. I would like to share my impressions.
So, what was I expecting when it came to doctors? When I was in my twenties, there was a show on TV about just the physician I was seeking: Marcus Welby, MD. Dr.Welby was an older doctor who frequently received patients in his home, always made correct diagnoses in a timely manner, and the client got well while showing great appreciation to Dr. Welby. I also remember another TV show during the days when I was in my forties about a doctor named Doogie Houser, a sixteen-old doctor who was a child prodigy. As I started the process of obtaining appointments I found if I could wait ninety to one hundred twenty days I could get an appointment with Dr.Welby. However, with my schedule restraints I got appointments with Dr. Houser, an individual one-third my age. In fact, almost all the medical staff seemed to be either Dr. Housers or classmates. I hoped they all had good relationships with their grandparents.
I found as I investigated the doctors with whom I had made appointments, those who were staff members in practices with good reputations had great credentials. There was an obvious correlation between the reputation of the practice and the qualification of the doctor. That made sense. Good practices were careful to include only well -trained, competent clinicians within their staffs. This reminded me of how thorough the staff of Littleton Equine Medical Clinic is as we ad new staff and the annual group of new interns. I am also very thankful for the reputation of LEQMC and the natural appeal of our practice area that make it possible to attract such a large group of great candidates for these positions.
The ever-evolving technology and rapid improvement of remarkable equipment have made it much more efficient for human doctors to practice in larger groups. There are fewer doctors who offer medical care similar to that portrayed in the Dr. Welby TV series. However, today’s practices with their well-qualified staff offer great care for a seasoned veterinarian like yours truly with a few worn parts. I’m satisfied Dr. Houser can handle the job.
Now back to LEQMC. There are many well-qualified veterinarians in Colorado who practice great veterinary medicine. At LEQMC we are lucky enough to have the technology and well qualified staff that allow us to offer special diagnostic techniques to the great veterinarians practicing in this region. It is true LEQMC is a large practice group, and it is natural to worry about such a facility being too large and impersonal. I am very proud to be part of such a great practice that blends a good number of Marcus and Mary Welbys with new staff additions of competent, caring individuals who assure LEQMC will continue to offer excellent veterinary care. I look forward to working with our new group of excellent interns who are hand picked from a very large pool of excellent candidates. I can assure all that every staff member at LEQMC is dedicated to delivering the best service to all our clients, Marcus Welby-type service.
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You can be a part of our quest to improve veterinary services while nurturing that special personal service. Call or e-mail the clinic with any critiques or suggestions you might have. Such input is greatly valued.