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J Small Anim Pract. 2019 Mar;60(3):167-172. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12936. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Effect of client complaints on small animal veterinary internists.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital, Irvine, California 92614, USA.
2
Department of Oncology, Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center, Upland, California 91786, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Beamount Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland.
4
Department of Critical Care, Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware, New Castle, Delaware 19720, USA.
5
Department of Cardiology, IDEXX Laboratories, Westbrook, Maine 04092, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the effect of client complaints on small animal veterinary internists' welfare, job satisfaction and medical practices.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Cross-sectional anonymous survey study. Between February 1 and March 31, 2017, a web-based questionnaire was made available through the American College Veterinary Internal Medicine sub-specialty Small Animal Internal Medicine E-mail List Serve.

RESULTS:

A total of 92 completed surveys were available for review. Fifty-nine (64∙1%) respondents received a client complaint during the previous 6 months with cost of care the most common reason (53∙3%). Eighty-nine (96∙7%) respondents worry about client complaints being made against them with 33 (35∙8%) stating they worry "most of the time" or "all of the time." Thirty-two (34∙8%) reported being verbally assaulted by a client in the previous 6 months and 27 (29∙4%) reported being threatened with litigation during the previous 6 months. Sixty-six (71∙7%) have reported changing the way they practice medicine to avoid a client complaint and 40 (43∙5%) have considered changing their career because of complaints made against them.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Client complaints are a frequent problem among small animal veterinary internists that have detrimental effects on job satisfaction, psychological distress and medical practices.

PMID:
30284723
DOI:
10.1111/jsap.12936

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