Lead the way: 7 steps to boost acceptance of your medical recommendations - Veterinary Medicine
Medicine Center
DVM Veterinary Medicine Featuring Information from:


Lead the way: 7 steps to boost acceptance of your medical recommendations
Clients are not being intentionally defiant when they forgo preventives or do not comply with your treatment protocol. Instead, it is usually a sign of a communications breakdown.



All of us are consumers and are influenced by our own circumstances—busy schedules, conflicting responsibilities, finances. We all look for convenience and value and shop based on price. I bet you shop at big-box stores. We all seek convenience and price, but not at the expense of value.

To compete with Internet pharmacies and web-based resources, veterinarians must emphasize value and relationships and provide better service experiences. Look at online review sites to see what people are saying about your clinic. Clients are increasingly making decisions based on consumer review sites. Consumer publications are advising pet owners to look beyond the veterinary hospital for products and services in order to save money. Consider hosting a focus group to learn what your clients think and where they are shopping for your services when they look elsewhere.

We must stop treating our professional services and knowledge as a commodity. Surveys have shown that while clients are concerned about price, they want to know they are receiving value. Veterinarians must compete on price with relationships, knowledge, and value.


It has been said that medical decisions should be made by addressing three concerns: What is best for the outcome of the disease or injury? What is best for the patient's quality of life? And what is best for the pet owners and their family?

We do not know the details of clients' circumstances. All we can do is provide clear and direct information and treatment options and then give clients permission to decide. We then must respect their decisions.


We veterinarians need to take the leadership role when it comes to achieving concordance with and adherence to our guidelines. We need to build consensus in our practice teams, but we also need to be the primary communicators of clear, direct, and personalized recommendations with adequate follow-up. Then we can feel confident that our clients will be able to make well-informed decisions.

Michael A. Paul
Michael A. Paul, DVM, is the former executive director of the Companion Animal Parasite Council and a former president of the American Animal Hospital Association. He is currently the principal of MAGPIE Veterinary Consulting. He is retired from practice and lives in Anguilla, British West Indies. Follow him at http://Twitter.com/magpievet


Click here