As a primary practice veterinarian, you likely know and recommend several local veterinary specialists. However, not all clients can afford specialty fees, or the specialty hospital may be too far away. VESPECON increases access to specialty care by providing consultations with general practitioners, which allows them to elevate in-house patient care and provide clients with more treatment options for their furry pals.

VESPECON specialists work hard each day to support and guide other veterinarians through the everyday struggles of veterinary practice. We find our work extremely rewarding and want to share the reasons why we do what we do. Here, we share how veterinary internist Dr. Jennifer E. Stokes feels about her work as an advisory specialist with VESPECON.

What does a veterinary internist do?

Veterinary internists are certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in small or large animal categories. Internists primarily focus on the complex interplay of organ and endocrine systems in the body. The ACVIM also certifies other closely related specialties that internists often work with closely to manage sick pets, including cardiology, neurology, nutrition, and oncology. During a typical day, internists may juggle a large outpatient caseload, perform diagnostic imaging and procedures, oversee inpatient care, and care for cases transferred from other hospitals.

An internal medicine specialist may focus on specific diseases or body systems as a formal subspecialty or simply a strong interest. Possible subspecialties include respiratory medicine, hematology, immunology, infectious diseases, hepatology, urology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, and nephrology.

How consulting with an internist can help veterinarians and pets

General practice veterinarians and other specialists encounter internal medicine cases daily. Although most veterinarians can manage routine cases, they often appreciate a specialist’s help for serious or complex problems. An internist can help you regulate that impossible diabetic, adjust medications for your chronic auto-immune patient, and suggest unconventional treatments for the unresponsive GI case. 

At VESPECON, our advisory specialists meet with you face to face, form long standing relationships, and prioritize you and your patients. The local specialist often has little time to dedicate to referring veterinarian consultations and may only be able to spare a few minutes on the phone, but our team is always waiting, ready to help.

Dr. Stokes’ take on VESPECON

Dr. Stokes finds her consulting position rewarding, because she builds relationships with other veterinarians and supports them through the toughest times. We asked her to illustrate how her work with VESPECON improves lives.

Question: What do you like best about working with general practice veterinarians to help their clients and patients?
Answer: The collegiality of the relationship is wonderful. So far, I believe, I have worked primarily with veterinarians who are new-ish to the profession, and supporting them, teaching them new things, and reinforcing their current knowledge has been rewarding. 

Q: How do you think VESPECON improves the lives of pets?
A: Consulting with VESPECON allows primary care veterinarians to practice a higher level of veterinary medicine. 

Q: How do you think VESPECON improves the lives of general practice veterinarians?
A: I believe reviewing cases with a veterinary specialist can decrease general veterinarians’ stress. They can ask questions and get assistance in a safe place. 

Q: What would you say to a general practice veterinarian who is unsure about VESPECON’s services?
A: VESPECON is a convenient, collegial, and open environment to discuss patient cases and receive real-time input, suggestions, and resources to maximize the quality of care you can offer your patients.

You can meet Dr. Stokes and the rest of the VESPECON team by using our consulting services. We have specialists who span almost every relevant discipline, including exotics and large animal practitioners. Visit our website to learn more or contact us to schedule your first consultation.