Don't be gored by the licensing board

Q: Do I need veterinary licensing board insurance?
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Feb 01, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

Yes. It can save you even more money than your malpractice insurance," says Dr. Karl Salzsieder, JD. Defending yourself can cost thousands of dollars, depending on how far the hearing and appeal process goes, says Dr. Salzsieder, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Salzsieder Consulting and Legal Services in Longview, Wash.

Although most veterinarians buy malpractice insurance, malpractice losses are usually high only in large animal medicine or when there is a client injury involved. Licensing board complaints, on the other hand, are increasing annually in most states, and they're often a result of poor communication between client and veterinarian, or an angry client who didn't understand the cost of a healthcare plan before treatment.

Unlike lawsuits, clients don't incur attorneys' fees while the licensing board pursues a complaint. If an investigator finds unprofessional conduct or some other breach of the Veterinary Practice Act, your defense process may take months or years.

So hire an attorney if you're defending yourself, Dr. Salzsieder says. An attorney, along with veterinary licensing board defense insurance, can be cost-saving measures.