Idaho's Disciplined Vets, 2005
The following list of veterinarians disciplined by the State of Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine in the year 2005 was provided by the Board in response to a request from the Toonces Project.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a complete list of disciplined vets in Idaho. If your vet's name does not appear on this list, it does not mean that she or he does not have a disciplinary record with the state. To find out if your Idaho vet has a disciplinary record, you can either a) file a FOIA request with the Idaho Vet Board (Contact person: Karen Ewing, Management Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact the Toonces Project at email@example.com to request assistance with filing said request.
Also, be aware that the absence of a record with the state is no guarantee of quality or competent care. Remember that the majority of complaints filed by pet owners are dismissed by Veterinary Boards. Our review of many dismissed complaints leads us to believe that in many cases, even complaints that are dismissed present information that would cause any conscientious pet owner to be concerned about the care provided by the vet. However, unfortunately, with the exception of a few states, complaints themselves are not available as public record.
Heins, Jeffrey Scott
Higer, Scott Howard
Huter, Alayna Dee
Ormond, David Robert
Porter, Stuart Todd
Rippel, Conie Sue
Ruble, Keith Robert
More information on these decisions will be posted soon.
Notes on Information provided to the Toonces Project by the State of Idaho: The Idaho Veterinary Board provided timely and detailed information on the cases from 2005. From a consumer advocacy standpoint, it is our opinion that the Idaho Board, moreso than the others we have studied, takes seriously its mission. It does several things that many Veterinary Boards do not do. Some notable things about the Idaho decisions:
As best we can tell from the Case Summaries, when a consumer files a complaint with the Idaho Board, it does not limit its investigation to allegations of the consumer. If the Board notices other violations in the course of conducting its investigation, it may also issue findings on those additional violations.
The Boards decisions include enforcement of record keeping violations. In some cases this enforcement is proactive, meaning that record keeping violations do not appear to have been explicitly alleged by the complainent, but were uncovered by the Board in its investigation and subsequently enforcement action included these.
The Board findings include enforcement actions regarding: pre-surgical bloodwork, informed consent, misdiagnosis, record keeping, and monitoring of surgical patients. It is our impression that many other state boards do not take these things seriously.
The complainant's name is included in the publicy released information (Case Summary). As consumer advocates, we believe this is a good thing, because it would make it possible for a concerned member of the public to request additional information from the complainant.
The Idaho Board references the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics in its decisions. We have not seen this so far in our review of other material, and this includes standards not enforced by state regulations, etc.
The Idaho Board requires veterinarians against whom they take action to pay investigative costs. While many state boards do this, not all do -- and where it is done, it has an important impact on the financial penalties imposed.
None of these observations, however, can reassure us -- or you -- that the Idaho Board does due diligence in all cases it reviews. It is impossible to judge that because as with most other states, complaints are not a matter of public record. However, from what we can see, Idaho sets a higher standard for it's vets than any other state. If you are from Idaho and have a comment on this conclusion (or evidence to the contrary) contact Stefani at the Toonces Project (firstname.lastname@example.org).