Primary Care in a Specialty World by Dr. Becky Bolch
I am constantly asked how do I like our new second floor and the addition of many new specialists. Of course, the facilities are amazing and allow us to manage our patients’ medical care at the highest level. However, the best aspect is the team approach when taking care of our patients and clients.
I absolutely love being a primary care veterinarian. No offense to my specialist colleagues but the best part of veterinary medicine is getting to form a bond from puppy or kitten hood through the end of life. In addition, I love getting to know sometimes two and three generations of families and in a small way, feeling like part of the family.
In the past, when an issue came up that required specialty expertise, I would have to refer my patients to an outside facility. Although, they received wonderful care, my role would be limited to reading a referral letter and following up with my clients. I was not really part of the team. However, now I can be part of the team from the very first step. I can be a liaison for my clients and patients who I have known for many years and the specialists. It’s comforting to have a friendly and trusted face when trying to make very difficult decisions for your loved member of the family.
One of the many examples come to mind is an adorable little bichon named Princess. Her owner came to see me for a second opinion for an increase in drinking and an elevated calcium level. There are many causes of this but on physical exam, I identified the cause in Princess- an anal gland tumor. After briefly talking with our oncologist, I was able to schedule a CT scan the following day with our radiologists to look for any spread of the tumor. Luckily, the tumor had not spread. The next day, Princess was scheduled to have an oncology consult and then had surgery with our surgical specialists. During these few days, I was able to explain, comfort and help guide my client’s decision making and just to be there to hold their hand. I am happy to say that I am still seeing Princess for primary care appointments and she is doing very well. However, if anything new comes up, I can just run upstairs to talk to her other doctors.
This team approach is wonderful for me as a primary care doctor, but more importantly allows for the very best care for your beloved family member.
Please make your primary care appointment today to start building this lifelong relationship! We are looking forward to meeting the family!
Dr. Bolch graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and has been a primary care doctor at Friendship for more than 20 years. In addition to serving as Chief of Medicine for 5 years, Dr. Bolch’s dedication to her patients and clients has largely influenced and shaped the Primary Care department at Friendship.
*Featured image courtesy of South Forsyth Animal Hospital.