Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine

The history of the evolution of the veterinary practice of infra human animals in many ways attempts to emulate the human practice. Some great institutions as in Boston and New York as well as associated with each university offering a degree in vet. medicine come close to equaling the human efforts. Those of us not associated with the ultimate have other standards of excellence.It is impossible for my profession to reach the degree of specialization of the human profession. For example I asked a board certified ophthalmologist if he was interested in a corneal problem I had recently treated in a dog. He informed me he knew nothing about corneas, "I am in retinas." I thought he was kidding and phoned the Yale department to find that all he does is detached retinas with a laser beam. Many years ago a group of veterinarians in Ohio worked together and created a central hospital system in which each vet. had an office and all major surgery and major workups and sophisticated treatments would be done at the central hospital. That hospital still thrives. Reading about that success a group of vets. in the New Haven area gathered to study the possibilities for us. It took two years of meetings to accomplish it but for those of us who utilize it it is nothing short of a bonanza. No longer do we have to get up in the middle of the night to treat emergencies unless we want to since there is a vet. and ancillary help on hand 24 hours. By group purchasing we have an advantage but the most important single feature is the convenience of discussing difficult cases among ourselves for the benefit of the patient. Of course we can afford one xray machine rather than each having one in a single practice and that goes for all kinds of sophisticated equipment and supplies. That hospital still thrives. Another approach to cooperative vet. service is the emergency hospital in which only emergencies are treated with expert service as far as they can be. In most heavily populated areas vet. specialists in surgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, psychology and dental medicine most of whom are roving are now available by appointment. Much fanfare is devoted to the above whereas there are many more vets. who are single practice practitioners with farm animals included who treat a minimum of companion animals. These men and woman are more important to the health of our country than the city vets. Hats off to them.

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