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1 September 2010 The Internet: Friend or Foe?
Laurie Hess
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The World Wide Web – it has broadened our ability to communicate beyond ways imaginable. In our veterinary practices, it has changed the way we interact with our colleagues. We can now refer cases to specialists with the click of a mouse. We can share any number of radiologic images with the stroke of a keyboard. We can attend continuing education meetings without ever leaving our workplaces. We can even order hospital supplies and equipment without even having to speak to a salesperson. The Internet has also changed our dynamics with clients. On the one hand, we can now share information with clients without their having to bring their pets into the hospital or even without having to speak with them on the telephone. We can provide clients with reams of educational material or with their pet's medical records without ever having to print a page. On the other hand, the Internet has shattered the image of the veterinarian as the expert in pet care; clients can now surf the Web and diagnose their pet's condition without ever even seeing their veterinarian. And if they do actually take their sick pet to the veterinarian, they often have researched their pet's clinical signs and have a tentative diagnosis and possible treatment plan in mind before they walk through the clinic door. So, is the Internet the veterinarian's friend or foe? To answer this question, I have invited 6 veterinary colleagues to share their Internet experiences. These colleagues are Cyndi Brown, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice), Ocean State Veterinary Specialists, East Greenwich, RI, USA; Tarah Hadley, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice), Atlanta Hospital for Birds and Exotics, Inc, Conyers, GA, USA; Bruce Nixon, DVM, Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas, Grapevine, TX, USA; Kimberly Mickley, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice), Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, Quakertown, PA, USA; April Romagnano, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice), Animal Health Clinic, Jupiter, FL, USA; and Ashley Zehnder, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice), Cancer Biology Graduate Program, Stanford University, Newark, CA, USA. I hope that reading about their Internet experiences will make us all aware of how the technology of communication has significantly changed the way we practice as veterinarians.

Laurie Hess "The Internet: Friend or Foe?," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 24(3), 237-240, (1 September 2010).
Published: 1 September 2010

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