After Hours Emergency Farm Call Services
As a practice, Woodside Equine Clinic feels it is essential for clients and their horses to have an established relationship with a veterinarian who can provide for their needs both during and after normal business hours. An owner whose horse needs emergency care when no veterinarian is available can be an extremely stressful and frustrating situation. Unfortunately, this is happening more often as an increasing number of equine veterinarians are only seeing after-hours emergencies for regular clients. More equine veterinarians are setting these policies to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Equine veterinarians are busier than ever, and, unlike our small animal colleagues, we do not have regional emergency practices to cover after-hours emergencies. This is also making it harder to attract and maintain new veterinarians to equine practice. Only 1% of graduating veterinarians are choosing equine practice. And of those that do enter equine practice, 50% leave within 5 years primarily due to a poor work-life balance. In addition, many other equine veterinarians are establishing specialty practices that do not provide after-hours emergency services.
Woodside Equine Clinic has seen a significant increase in the number of after-hours ambulatory emergencies for owners that are not regular clients, and this is affecting the quality of work-life balance for our ambulatory veterinarians. Therefore, to maintain the excellent staff and the level of care our clients have come to expect, effective immediately, Woodside Equine Clinic will only provide after-hours ambulatory emergency coverage on the farm for our regular clients. We will provide coverage for our referring veterinarians in the area that request coverage in advance for a specific period while they are unavailable. Woodside Equine Clinic will continue to take after hours emergency referrals for horses that require more advanced care at our hospital.
A regular client is a someone that has been seen for a routine scheduled examination within the last 12 months. Clients that have not been seen during the last 12 months due to extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This change is also an effort to promote better client-veterinarian relationships fostering the best quality of care for all horses. We believe that regular veterinary care provides the best opportunity for all horses to lead long, healthy lives. So, for all our regular clients we will continue to provide the same quality of care that you expect. But we encourage everyone in the equine community to make sure you have an established relationship with a veterinarian who will provide after-hours care.