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By Stephen A. DiTullio, DeWitt Ross & Stevens, s.c.

Internships have long been a staple of the business community, including at many veterinary practices. However, if your veterinary practice has an unpaid internship program, you should take a second look at that program to make sure it is an asset, and not a liability. This article updates an article from September, 2012 addressing this issue due to case law developments that occurred in 2015.

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Megan Senatori, DeWitt, Ross & Stevens, s.c.

Dear Legal Briefs, I am struggling with a situation and would really appreciate some guidance. I have a client who I am concerned may be misusing prescription medications for the client's animal. I contacted local law enforcement and have been advised to file a report. However, I seem to recall you once saying that veterinary records are confidential. If so, how can I file a report without getting myself in trouble with the client about confidentiality obligations? I am really in a bind. Can you help?
Sincerely, Concerned Veterinarian Trying To Do The Right Thing

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Jordan Lamb, DeWitt Ross & Stevens, s.c.

The 2015-16 legislative session is nearing its final months and the Legislature is hard at work on proposals that will be considered at the end of this session. Although the Legislature does not officially adjourn until April 2016, it is likely that the bulk of their work will be done in January and February of 2016. The following are two recent legislative issues of interest to WVMA members.

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Gregory E. Scallon, Esq. DeWitt Ross & Stevens, s.c.

It is a fairly common occurrence for a clinic employee to use a personal motor vehicle in the course of the employee's job performance. This may vary from the large animal veterinarian who provides a personal vehicle for farm calls on a full time basis to the staff employee who makes the occasional trip to pick-up supplies. In all events, both clinic and employee need to be certain that the appropriate insurance protection is in place.

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With the season of giving upon us, many people are reaching out to help those less fortunate. Members of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) do this throughout the year by volunteering their time knowledge in developing countries and impoverished parts of the United States.

These trips, with the mission of helping those in less fortunate situations, go hand in hand with the One Health concept of human and animal health being interconnected. WVMA Member, Dr. Judy Batker has volunteered on many mission trips to other countries and within the U.S.

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Brian L. Anderson, DeWitt Ross Stevens s.c.

If your veterinary practice is typical, then, like many small employers, it provides its eligible employees with a retirement plan that uses individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Such a plan might be a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA or a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA.

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Bryan C. Esch, Esq., DeWitt Ross & Stevens s.c.

You may be considering working with other service providers to expand the services provided at your clinic or animal hospital or you already may have relationships with groomers, behavioral specialists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, or other outside vendors who work out of or receive referrals from your practice. Many veterinarians work with outside providers to make available additional services to their patients and clients and to increase their revenues. This may be a great way to generate new relationships for your practice and keep your patients and clients happy.

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The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) awarded Douglas Kratt, DVM, of Onalaska, the WVMA Veterinarian of the Year Award at its 100th Annual Convention on Friday, Oct. 9.

Dr. Robert Forbes believes Dr. Kratt epitomizes of the work ethic and selfless caring that keeps the veterinary medical profession rated as one of the most respected in the country.

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The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association recognized the following award winners during the WVMA Annual meeting on October 9 in Madisin, Wisconsin. 

Corporate Partnership Award
The Corporate Partnership Award is given to a business in recognition of their service, commitment, and contributions specifically to organized veterinary medicine.

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The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Assocation (WVMA)  recognized four members at the 2015 WVMA Annual Convention on October 9 for their 50 years of membership. To receive this  award, a veterinarian must maintiain their membership for 50 continuous years. The following members met  this milestone in 2015.

Wayne Benstead, DVM
Dr. Wayne Benstead graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1962. He is a small animal veterinarian who spent most of his career practicing veterinary medicine in Delavan, WI. Dr. Benstead started his career in 1963 with Dr. Paul O'Conner. In 1964, he joined a mixed animal practice in Delavan, WI. Dr. Benstead bought that clinic from Dr. Kelsey in 1971 and turned it into a small animal practice. In 1976, he built his own practice called the Delavan Small Animal Clinic. In 1993, Dr. Benstead sold his clinic, but he continues to work part-time.

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