The practice of veterinary medicine is regulated by separate state or provincial licensing/regulatory agencies. Neither AAHA nor any state or provincial veterinary association has the authority to take any disciplinary action against a veterinarian’s license to practice and no two state and/or provincial laws regulating the practice of veterinary medicine are exactly alike. Since AAHA has no regulatory standing it is unable to investigate complaints regarding the actions of veterinarians or their team members.
Based on AAHA’s experience, pet owners with a complaint against a veterinary practice are best served by attempting to resolve the matter with the medical director or practice manager. The Association strongly encourages pet owners to engage in constructive dialog with the hospital regarding their concerns. In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek the assistance of trained mediators to facilitate such discussions.
As the only accrediting entity in veterinary medicine in North America, choosing an AAHA-accredited practice should provide a level of comfort to pet owners. Accreditation affords a well respected measure of differentiation from practices that have not undergone a thorough evaluation by an unbiased, outside organization.
AAHA Accreditation means that the practice was evaluated by trained AAHA consultants and found to meet the standards required for Accreditation. To maintain Accreditation, members must successfully go through regular evaluations, typically every three years. In the interval between on-site evaluations, AAHA consultants periodically contact members on an informal basis and in-house staff is available to answer questions, but it is the responsibility of the veterinary practice to uphold the standards between on-site evaluations. Due to the complexities and variables of medical case management, there is no guarantee of the outcome for medical cases.
Click here to submit feedback for an AAHA-accredited hospital.