A word from Dr. Christine Ortner about the differences between locally owned veterinary clinics and national chain “big box” corporate clinics…
I opened Cascade Summit Animal Hospital in 2003. I live in this community and take pride in serving my friends and neighbors. I love seeing my clients in the clinic and also outside of the clinic at school, church and the grocery store. At this time, Cascade Summit is the only locally owned veterinary clinic in West Linn. Can that be true? Yes, we are the one and only vet clinic in West Linn that is not owned by a national corporation.
There is a big difference between small private practices and large corporate national chains that own over 800 vet clinics. For veterinarians, the benefit of working in a privately owned practice rather than a corporate owned practice is that the doctors have the freedom to choose the best medicine for each patient. Our doctors are not under pressure from the corporate suits to see high numbers of patients or give large numbers of vaccines that do not necessarily fit the pet’s lifestyle. In fact, the vets at Cascade Summit Animal Hospital are very conservative with vaccines and take the time to discuss which vaccines are needed for each individual. Corporations are very concerned with keeping the schedule packed, the number of billed services high and the costs low. At Cascade Summit Animal Hospital our patients’ comfort and safety is our top priority! Our team takes pride in providing the highest quality pain medications, vaccines, and anesthesia. We strive to make you feel welcome every time you walk in the door. We take the time to make sure all of your questions are answered.
There is a lot of conversation among vets right now about working for large corporate chains. It is a very hot topic right now. I have heard several disturbing things from vets I’ve talked to personally and some from online conversations. Here are some of the things vets have said about working for some of the large corporate clinics:
* Keeping the schedule filled and working fast is paramount
* Many of the corporate clinics do not have dental x-rays yet offer oral surgery and tooth extractions (this is considered below the standard of care in our profession.)
* Vets are expected to give senior indoor only cats and small breed dogs many vaccines that they think the patient does not need
* The selection of pain medication available for surgery patients is not good enough and the vets wish they had better choices
* Dogs are not allowed to be walked outside due to the liability of one getting away so they have to urinate in their cages when they are hospitalized
* A vet was told she would have a meeting to review her medical decisions, which we call having “rounds.” Instead of discussing the medicine, she was told what additional services she could have and should have sold for each case.
There are big box corporations with deep pockets buying existing vet clinics and opening new vet clinics in the Portland area as well as the rest of the country. I am determined to educate pet owners about the differences between private practices and publicly traded corporate big box clinics. Please help me educate your friends and family members who own pets. I would hate to see great pet owners be left with only the choice of Corporation A or Corporation B for their pet’s health care.
When you come to Cascade Summit you can be certain that your pet is receiving the very best care and you are supporting your locally owned small business. Thank you for support! We truly appreciate your trusting us with the care of your pets. We are always accepting new clients and thank you for your referrals!