You are right. There absolutely are some very dishonest, unethical, and flat out disgusting veterinarians in this world. Not even going to argue that.
I did watch the video. And it makes me sad. But, although I will not defend any of those doctors, I can't help but wonder some things that weren't really addressed in the piece. For example, how different are the biling fees? For example, what is the difference in the exam fee? $10? $15? More? What is included in that exam fee? Ear dicharge analysis? Ear cleanings? Etc? My point is that to compare bottom line to bottom line is not the way to judge whether a vet is taking you to the bank or not.
For example, when one of my clients comes in for a check up, I charge a set exam fee, of let's say $50. In that exam, I am going to not only look at the problematic areas (ie: the ears, skin, etc), I am also going to palpate the abdomen and all of the internal organs, I am going to do an ophthalmic exam including a fundic exam, I am going to auscult the heart, auscult the lungs, I am going to examine the mouth, I am going to do a rectal exam and check/express the anal glands (much to the dismay of my patients, sometimes
), I am going to examine any ear discharge under the microscope (for probably another $12), I am going to educate my clients on how to clean the ears, I will clean the ears for them, I will probably do a courtesy nail trim if needed, and address any of my client's concerns, etc. If there is a need for it, ie: there is an infection, etc., I will prescribe any medicaitons that are necessary.
For $20, you can go down to the vet down the street, have him ONLY look in the ears (if that is the presenting complaint), not listen to the chest, not palpate the organs, not do any of the formentioned procedures, probably not look at the discharge under the microscope, give you medications he/she assumes will work (not knowing if there may be another physical reason why your dog, for example may not be a good candidate for a medication that has a topical steroid in it) and have a bill that on the surface, it less. But, when you have to come back for recheck after recheck, or worse yet, your dog has an adverse reaction and becomes really sick from the medication, who is really doing a dis-service here? So the total bottom line is not a fair way to compare.
I'm not saying that this is what happened in the video, and obviously there are some awful things being shown there, but my point is that you are not comparing apples to apples if all you are looking at is the bottom line. And as it is with a lot of media, and bogus research studies, it will only show what it intended to proove.
I agree. The best thing is to educate yourself and be aware of what is going on around you. The same TV crew could probably show that and worse for many other professions.