This one is gonna jump around a bit, from here to there and then back again. Hopefully by the end I will have made some version of a point. If you don't get there, at the end, and don't get it, please try not to blame me. Ya see, I'm trying to make some sense of this myself and I'm not sure I can. So if I cannot 'splain this cogently to you, imagine the fun I am having churning it into sense for me.
I was introduced to a sick, demented, and fortunately tiny subset of humanity when a veterinarian I knew through the interweb was driven to suicide a short while ago. Dr. Koshi tried to rescue a cat from the demented efforts of a cat rescuer. Saving a cat from folks who think they are saviors. This is what ya call a no win situation. Dr. Koshi put the cat's welfare first, while the cat rescuers put their own selfish needs foremost. The crazies won when Dr. Koshi killed herself, and they celebrated long and hard, in their lonely homes and on the web.
One of the loudest haters on the web was a woman who had watched as her 20 year old cat died of kidney failure 20 years earlier. This woman never forgave the doctor who had tried to prolong the life of the doomed cat, and failed. Rational people, and those of us who know a few things, realize that the only 20 year old cats that don't die from kidney failure will be the 21 year old cats who die from kidney failure. The sun comes up in the east, always has, and likely always will.
This poor woman, bless her heart, thought more could have been done for her cat, and to this day, twenty years later, she has waged a one woman war against the profession of veterinary medicine for the slight visited upon her when her beloved cat died. This is her right, and the internet is her weapon, and the world goes on without even bothering to mock her futility. But as each day grows old, this woman seeks out any opportunity to rage against veterinarians who she thinks don't do enough to help animals. She is rather obsessed with this crusade. Death to veterinarians who don't do enough to help animals. She celebrated on her bit of the web when Dr. Koshi died. And daily she does all she can do to harm veterinarians that she decides have not done enough to help animals.
Please, remember this part.
Some time ago, a young man talked the National Geographic TV people into a reality show featuring his father, a quirky, aged, and arguably self-dedicated veterinarian who operates a mixed animal practice in Michigan. Folks love veterinarians, or at least they used to. The show has been entertaining at times, and the TV folks have made a fortune off it. This alone makes them happy. This is a win-win for everyone, right? The ratings are huge. Dr. Pol is the next James Herriot. We should all celebrate.
Well, not quite.
Ya see....on film, the incredible Dr. Pol has committed egregious malpractice, time and again, and some of us, the veterinarians dedicated to doing things right for the animals and their people, have objected to this. We've seen animals suffer at the hands of this man. We've seen him cut corners for no reason other than the fact that he doesn't care to do things correctly. We've seen his arrogance when charged with the abuse of his oath to reduce animal suffering. We've watched him cash the checks from his victimized clients and the TV folks, and walk away smiling.
So we have tried to stop this television program. We are proud of our profession. We are proud of the progress we have made over decades of time in the quality and effectiveness of the care we can provide your animals. We strive over our entire careers to improve this care. And we do this for the animals, and for you folks, and sometimes in spite of you folks. Thus, we want to stop that one doctor, because he mocks the progress we have made, and he attempts to elevate himself by denigrating the good that we as a profession have done for the animals and their people.
What? What you mean, in spite of “you folks”.
Yeah, sadly....in spite of you folks.
We stirred up a hornets nest when we asked National Geographic to stop popularizing a fraud posing as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. We did this because we are proud of our profession and the care we provide, and because this one TV program is harming animals by undoing decades of progress in the care of animals.
“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”
When some dedicated veterinarians asked the National Geographic people to discontinue this show, because this TV show harms animals in the long run, of course nothing happened. The money is far more important to the TV people than any harm they might cause.
So some veterinarians filed complaints with the regulatory folks in Michigan, suggesting that they should enforce their own regulations against malpractice in the practice of Veterinary Medicine. Dr Pol clearly demonstrated a need for sanctions on numerous occasions while he was being filmed. God only knows what he did when not watched.
The regulatory people have acted twice now, finding clear evidence of substandard practice, malpractice on the part of the TV star doctor. The man has been shown to be a hazard to the animals put in his care, and a fraud as he sells his services to a gullible public.
Some celebration might be in order here, but instead, a throng of Dr Pol supporters have surfaced to oppose any constraints on this show and this practice. Anyone interested in the welfare of the animals, and also aware of reality, would want the Dr Pol show to go away. But, this is when it's what you know that just ain't so gets in the way of this.
With the throng of rabid Dr Pol supporters speaking out, a variety of opinions have surfaced. All these folks think they know for sure, and sadly don't. Allow me to compress them into an easily digested few.
“Dr Pol cares”
“Dr Pol doesn't use all those fancy tests.”
“Dr Pol is cheap.”
Let me translate, for convenience.
“Dr Pol cares”.
This means that Dr Pol is cheap. Those doctors who want to do things correctly cost more money. Dr Pol doesn't care about doing things right, and he cuts valuable corners to the detriment of the animals. Dr Pol is cheap.
“Dr Pol doesn't use all those fancy tests.”
This means that Dr Pol refuses to use the best methods to help peoples' animals, but instead does something far less. Dr Pol is cheap.
“Dr Pol is cheap.”
Well, never mind.
Just for jollies. That woman who has pilloried veterinarians for the last 20 years because one veterinarian didn't do enough for her cat in her demented mind. Didn't do enough....Death to those who don't do enough to help an animal. The woman who celebrated when a veterinarian killed herself.
This woman has come out in defense of the substandard care offered by Dr Pol. Because he is cheap.
Now, try to work with me here for a moment. I want you to wrack you brains, think long and hard, and then answer these questions.
Can you think of any time when you see someone doing a job, performing a trade, or practicing at a profession where people consistently and persistently beg, argue, demand, cajole, and whine....in order to get that person to do a poor job rather than a good job?
Do you, as a functioning human, beg the chef of a restaurant to do a horrid abortion of a medium rare steak? Do you ask the mechanic who wrenches on your Harley to please to a terrible job? Do you ask the surgeon who will attempt to save your baby daughter to please cut a few corners because you don't really want the surgery done right? How about the guys who will paint your house, your plumber, the airline pilot taking you to O'Hara, your kids' teachers, those politicians in Washington ( Oh never mind that one. Forget Dr Pol here), the dude at Starbucks making up your morning coffee, a damn cab driver.
Please do a shitty job, but please do it cheap.
I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure I'm right here.
The only time all those people are gonna demand that you do a shitty job, but please do it cheap, are the folks we veterinarians are pledged to help.
And you wonder why I write such things in the dark of night, trying to figure why I bother to go to work every day. In spite of you people.