Instead, it will be about my dog.
The dog was behaving oddly, scratching his left ear more than is normal for a dog, so it occurred to me: maybe this thing has an adult-like ear infection. Of course it was off to the wonderful veterinarian, an office I love to visit because it is completely unlike a human doctor’s office. Insurance is not an issue. The doctor sees you right away. There is no interminable wait. You are treated like an actual customer instead of a groveling client. Everyone is super nice. There is a lovely informality about it all, which you notice immediately because, well, dogs and cats are walking around freely.
You and your pet see the doctor right away. The doctor is a normal person with a first name.
I was right: the dog has an ear infection. There is medicine available for that. But as the medicine is described, I’m also told the prices. This cream costs this much and this rinse costs this much. Do I want one, both, or none? Also, if I choose none, there are home remedies I could try.
All of this is unknown at a regular doctor’s office. Prices are mysterious, even unknown. Not even the doctor or receptionist knows for sure. They certainly aren’t posted. In fact, prices don’t really figure into the decision-making process at all, at least not in a way that the customer knows about. Home remedies are mostly considered quackery. Treatment is never optional. You are not shopping in any sense. And insurance and paperwork and records are an absolute must.
Why is the veterinarian office like a normal business and the human doctor’s office more like an quasi-governmental experience by comparison? Simple: there is virtually no government provision, regulation, and fiduciary involvement of bureaucracies. There is licensing, but otherwise the consumer rules, just like in normal business. By contrast, the human doctor is embroiled in a complex maze of government regulation, managements, funding, mandates, and it gets worse and worse year by year.
If you want to see how free-market medicine works, you have to visit the veterinarian office. Then you wonder: why are we as humans treated worse than the animals?
See: Rights and Regulation.