Our client is obsessed with tests

Our client is obsessed with tests

May 01, 2008

Q. How should we handle a client who seems obsessed with repeating diagnostic tests?

Jim Kramer
Your medical team should decide what diagnostic tests are appropriate, says Jim Kramer, DVM, CVPM, a partner at Columbus Animal Hospital in Columbus, Neb. If a client's persistent, consider why she may not trust your care. Was she shuffled between doctors or given conflicting advice? Has the patient failed to improve or improved only to relapse?

"One of our clients recently requested repeated tests when we thought it may be unnecessary. But it turned out the client detected a problem we failed to find in physical exams and previous diagnostic tests," Dr. Kramer says. "Remember, clients know their animals best."

So start with a thorough history and consider additional diagnostics or referring the client to a board certified specialist, Dr. Kramer says. "Always make sure your decisions are rooted in the best medicine and accepted practices," he says. "And in case the situation escalates to litigation or a licensure complaint, document everything as if the licensing board might investigate."