A recent study showed that 64% of the medical information on the Internet is either outdated or outright wrong.
Every veterinarian knows that when our clients are faced with a difficult or complex veterinary medical condition they go home and look it up on the Internet if we have failed to make the condition completely clear to them.
It happens regularly. The absorption of information in an Examination Room can be interrupted when the topic is complex or stressful. Even more so when it is life and death.
It even happens to me! When I need to see a physician I take a list of prepared questions with me. I keep my list handy and I don’t leave until I have an answer to every question.
I go one step further. As my physician talks, and I think of new questions, I jot them down, and insist on answers.
It’s not unusual for me to come up with additional questions on subsequent days, in which case I make a followup phone call or appointment with my physician to talk to me a little more.
I simply cannot make informed choices about my own medical care until I have all of the information and a full understanding of it.
Noone can. Information, and a full understanding of it, are keys to making proper choices.
It is clear, however, that the Internet is not always going to give you the right answer. In fact, if the study is correct, you have a better chance just flipping a coin than asking Jeeves!
Why do I write this pet information blog?
- I love pets and I love helping them.
- I love to give pet owners, especially my clients, a place to go to get accurate veterinary medical information about their pets.
- I love people and I love helping them.
- I love to write, it’s a healthy outlet for me.
- I love to share.
I spend more time talking than any other one activity in our Examination Rooms. It is my responsibility to not only make an accurate diagnosis but also to make our clients understand what is (and isn’t) wrong with their pets, what we are going to do about it and why. At the end of every visit I ask our client whether he has any questions. If he says yes, we answer the question(s). If he says no I point out that every piece of paper he gets from us has both of our phone numbers on it and I want him to call if more questions arise. If I get to the end of a visit and the client still doesn’t understand the situation I’m happy to start over, explain it a different way, and keep going until he does understand.
Several times each day I will send clients to MyPetsDoctor.com, where they can sit down in their own homes at their own pace and read about what we’ve discussed until they understand it better.
Or have more questions they need to have answered.
I want to do everything I can to ensure pet owners understand everything they can about their pets’ health.
See you Monday, Dr. Randolph.