March 14, 2015
Just recently back from Beijing, Dr. Patrick Warpinski, veterinarian and owner of The Animal House Pet Clinic, enthusiastically refers to the entire global exchange experience as a “career highlight.” Dr. Warpinski is one of 10 veterinarians across the world selected to participate in the NOBIVAC Global Vet Exchange Program. The pilot program sponsored by Merck Animal Health’s NOBIVAC vaccine line, is designed to introduce veterinarians to a different culture, expose them to how veterinary medicine is performed and perceived globally, and share practice philosophies and business models.
In mid February, Dr. Pat flew to Beijing to complete the exchange with Dr. Yi (Eric) Dong at Dr. Dong’s three Puppytown Clinics. Says Dr. Pat, “The Beijing experience was so memorable on so many levels, from the language and culture, to the food and of course, the veterinary medicine. For me to experience a few days in the life of a Chinese veterinarian was nothing less than phenomenal. This trip will resonate for years to come.”
According to Dr. Pat, there are a great many differences in how veterinary medicine is practiced and perceived in Beijing vs. the US. “Certainly Dr. Yi and his veterinary staff practice good quality medicine, although they are limited by lack of access to many medications. What is unique, is the client-veterinarian relationship. At The Animal House, we work very diligently to develop a strong bond between our veterinarians and pet owners. We look to develop a sense of loyalty with our clients. Conversely, at The Puppytown Clinic, the emphasis is very focused on specialization so the pet owner rarely sees the same veterinarian on a repeated basis. Puppytown veterinarians have a specific modality emphasis. Thus, each doctor is designated to a particular field; Vaccinations & Healthy, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Laboratory Medicine and of course, Dr. Yi’s specialty of Ophthalmology.”
There also exists a cultural attitude toward the management of pet care that is quite unique. First, pet owners prefer to not make appointments for wellness and sick cases and simply walk-in for appointments. This predictably creates a hectic environment in the clinic. When it comes to treatment approaches, Beijing pet owners strongly favor IV treatments to medications, and stay with their pets during the entire treatment process, hours if required. “They feel this is an important part of the healing process”, says Dr. Pat. Another practice that is quite unlike the US is the payment process. It is the norm for clients to take a number and pre-pay for each service as needed. For example, a client will pre-pay for a wellness exam. If lab work is indicated, the client will then pre-pay for that service and so on until that day’s visit is complete.
Overall, Dr. Pat’s impression is that Beijing veterinary medicine is emerging, similar to how veterinary medicine was practiced and perceived years ago in the US. One of Dr. Yi’s veterinarians, Dr. Jing, relayed that she felt very proud to be at the very forefront of the veterinary profession in China. Dr. Pat expects a return visit in five years’ time would result in a very different but equally positive experience. For more details and in depth impressions of the both Dr. Pat’s and Dr. Yi’s experiences go to the NOBIVAC Blog at https://nobivacvetexchange.wordpress.com/category/dr-pat-warpinski/ For additional photos and videos of the exchange go to https://www.facebook.com/AnimalHouseGreenBay For more information about Dr. Warpinski and The Animal House Pet Clinic, go to http://www.animalhousegreenbay.com. For information about the exchange program including the blog can be found at http://www.Nobivac.com