“Reform vet med board,” says I.G.

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

Ohio Inspector General Richard
Ward on December 10 recommended that the
Ohio Veterinary Medical Board should
develop written policies and procedures to
expedite handling of public complaints.
During an investigation of delayed response,
Ward said, “We found repeated instances
where the board could have acted but did not.”
His findings paralleled those of the Arizona
Office of the Auditor General in a probe of
the similarly constituted Arizona Board of
Veterinary Medical Examiners, published in
April 1997, and reflect growing concern
nationally that veterinarians may be insufficiently
accountable for their work. Vets, like
medical doctors and dentists, are largely
peer-regulated, but unlike medical doctors
and dentists have little vulnerability to malpractice
suits, since the court-recognized
value of most animals is less than the cost of
filing fees. Ward looked into the Ohio
Veterinary Medical Board due to claims that it
failed to promptly address charges against
Alexia Wilde, DVM, of Columbus.

The Ohio Veterinary Medical Board did finally
suspend her license to practice on December
10, after hearing three days of testimony
about alleged animal abuse, theft of purebred
dogs entrusted to her care, allowing unqualified
staff to perform operations, and drinking
on the job. Wilde remained in business, however,
when Licking County Common Pleas
Judge Jon R. Spahr stayed the Veterinary
Medical Board verdict pending a trial on
whether or not the board gave her fair notice
of the charges and a fair chance to respond.

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