10 minutes… for owners who turns up 3 minutes late, on crutches so they take 2 minutes to get into the room, can’t restrain their animal and can’t agree on when the last dog ate, you often end up with about 3 minutes of useful consultation time. And in that time you are supposed to glean a full, thorough clinical history, examine the animal, come up with a list of differentials, explain to the owner the diagnostic and/or treatment options, dispense treatment and explain clearly/demonstrate how to use it, and write up your clinical notes thoroughly enough to cover your back and allow good case follow on.
It is simply NOT enough time. With the advent of Dr. Google, people expect more for their money. The rapid increase in medical knowledge means there is simply more to discuss – more options and possibilities than there were when small animal practice started. We’re on the back foot from the word ‘go’, running late before we’ve had a chance to catch a breath.
Surely we have to end this malpractice, for the benefit of clients, patients and practice staff… for sanity itself! I have a sneaky suspicion there is a good financial case for this too, with increased levels of staff retention, client satisfaction and uptake of procedures and treatments just because we have time to explain things better, rather than stressfully hurrying to get people out of the door. What are your thoughts???