Veterinary Medicine Is Undergoing Major Changes

By Dr. Loden:

joplin cornerstone vetUntil recently, veterinary hospitals were managed and owned by a local veterinarian. In recent years there has been a shift to veterinary hospitals being owned by national corporations and non-veterinarians. Much like the family doctor, the family veterinarian is endangered of becoming a part of the past. Some would call this progress, but unfortunately progress often comes at a price.

Decisions about services and the care of your pet are now being decided by a corporate office located across the country. Procedures, services, and medications are being evaluated to determine if they offer reasonable return for the corporation and non-veterinary owners. If they do not offer what the owners consider reasonable profit, they are being discontinued.

While veterinarians working for these organizations may make the decisions that they think is best for your pet, this is not completely true. Often these veterinarians are offered bonuses and increased pay by selling and promoting certain procedures and products. In addition, they are only able to offer the services and products that the corporation and non-veterinarian owners allow them to offer. This means that a Board of Directors sitting around a table looking at charts, figures, and statistics are making decisions about the care your pet should receive.

In 1985, when we established Cornerstone Animal Hospital, there were not any national corporation or
non-veterinarian owned veterinary practices in the Joplin community. Currently, nearly half the practices
in Joplin are either owned by a national corporation or by non-veterinarian owners. I suspect that over the next 30 years the family veterinarians that have existed for years will disappear. I personally find this disturbing.

At Cornerstone Animal Hospital our slogan for the last 30 years has been “Where Pets Are Family, Too”. We consider it an honor and privilege to provide care for your special family members. You and your pet are part of our circle of friends. You are not just a number and statistic on a chart being reviewed by a Board of Directors for future profit.