The practice of veterinary medicine is governed by separate state or provincial licensing and regulatory agencies and no two state and/or provincial laws regulating the practice of veterinary medicine are exactly alike. AAHA is a voluntary association; it has no regulatory standing and is not an investigative agency. As such, it cannot take disciplinary action against a veterinarian’s license.
AAHA does not address the following types of complaints:
- Fee disputes.
Estimates for treatment and surgeries are based on an expected treatment plan. Due to complexities and variables of medical cases, it is not a guarantee of the final cost.
- Personality conflicts or perceived rude behavior.
- Boarding/grooming facilities.
- Medical course of action and treatment.
Diagnostics (e.g., labwork, radiographs, etc.) and treatments vary in complexity and unforeseen factors as well as individual patient response. As they are based on individual circumstances, there is no guarantee of the outcome.
- Anonymous complaints.
The accuser has a right to know what is being said against them; therefore, a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the medical director(s) of the accredited practice.
Based on AAHA’s experience, pet owners with a complaint against a veterinary practice are best served by attempting to resolve the matter with the medical director or practice manager. The Association strongly encourages pet owners to engage in constructive dialog with the hospital regarding their concerns.
A peer review board may be another option. Some state veterinary medical associations have peer review boards; their role varies by state. To see if your state has a peer review board, contact your state veterinary medical association.
AAHA accredited practices are evaluated by trained AAHA consultants and found to meet the standards required for accreditation. To maintain accreditation, members must successfully go through regular evaluations, typically every three years. In the interval between on-site evaluations, AAHA consultants periodically contact members on an informal basis and in-house staff is available to answer questions, but it is the responsibility of the veterinary practice to uphold the standards between on-site evaluations.
Click here to submit feedback for an AAHA-accredited hospital.