New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, February 19, 2010

Someone is There

If today's photos look rather unassuming, welcome to another episode of Content is King. This is one of New York City's best examples of all work and no fanfare.

This nondescript, 9-story building at 510 East 62nd Street, sandwiched between the back of the Bentley Hotel and the FDR Drive, is home to the Animal Medical Center, a place that for the last hundred years has been "the place to go" for emergency animal care and treatment of exotic pets. It has been best known for those who want to treat their pets and for whom money is no object.

The Animal Medical Center is not just a veterinary clinic. It is is a full blown hospital with MRIs, CT scans, radiation therapy, cancer treatment, hemodialysis clinic for pets with kidney disease, and a rehabilitation clinic with an underwater treadmill. There is a full range of specialties - dermatology, diabetes, endocrinology, hematology, neurology, oncology, radiology etc. There is an Avian and Exotic Pet Service, which treats birds, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, turtles, snakes, lizards, and small rodents.

One of the huge pluses here is that the hospital is open 24/7, and anyone can walk in for emergency care at any time without an appointment. Until very recently, the center has essentially been the only game in town. But recently, competitors have entered the arena: NYC Veterinary Specialists and Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists, both offering a 24-hour emergency room and high tech equipment. See a New York Times article here on the competition.

Experiences at Animal Medical Center are extremely varied - pet owner reviews range the gamut. Many feel that the center has rested on its laurels a bit too long. Some are furious while others sing nothing but the highest praises. With so many vets, interns, and patient load, it can be expected that patient experience will vary. A frequent complaint is the high fees generally incurred there. However, it should be understood that many of the procedures taken are not typically done for pets at all and have the same costs as those done for human patients. Ironically, I also see many negative reviews and similar complaints for the NYC Veterinary Specialists, surprising for the new man on the block.

Pet owners are a very touchy bunch. Many are intolerant of anything less than the best care and attention. AMC is a large facility and definitely has a bureaucratic feel, with layers between the pet owner and doctors. Long hours in the waiting room, a more impersonal reception, and surprises at the cashier's window, although not excusable, are also not surprising with such a large operation in a big city and an international reputation. News has it that there will be a campaign to improve patient relations.

Everything said and done, it is still comforting that places like this exist and that day or night, when there is an emergency, someone is there...

Photo Note: The photo at the lower right is from the AMC website.


Naomid said...

Did the turtle survive?

Mary said...

Over the years I've had both a good and a bad experience at this hospital.

Once, my dog had abdominal surgery and I had to depart for Europe the next day. Upon my return a few days later, I found the internal stitches in the abdominal wall had ruptured, and the abdomen prolapsed. He needed additional surgery.

On the other hand, they saved the life of a dog that had been poisoned by mange medication (incorrect use of which had been prescribed by another vet.)

So, to echo your feelings, it is good that they are there.

Anonymous said...

The tortoise is doing exceptionally well! Thank you for asking