House Call

Introducing Dr. Gina of Valet Vet

How did you get your start as a veterinarian?

I started working for a corporate veterinary clinic right after graduating from veterinary school. While I can say that corporate medicine wasn’t my cup of tea, I did learn a lot in those first two years working solo.

When did you know that you wanted to become a veterinarian?

As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a veterinarian. Actually, I think for a short time after visiting Sea World I wanted to be a dolphin trainer, but that quickly changed once I realized Arizona didn’t have a beach or ocean nearby. I just always knew. I never questioned if I was making the right choice when I started filling out college applications. It’s almost like the career chose me.

What makes you so passionate about veterinary medicine?

Where do I start? Veterinary medicine is comprised of a great group of people, and most of us love what we do. In spite of the long hours and lower salaries, ask most of us in the field and we could not imagine doing anything else with our lives. Sure, we may drive older cars and pay more in student loans than any other professional out there, but somehow we make it work. The human-animal bond is an amazing thing, and to know that we get to be a part of that relationship with our clients and communities is a feeling that can’t be replaced. I’m also secretly a nerd and being a vet keeps my head in the books, learning new things in the ever-changing world of veterinary medicine.

How did you come up with the concept for Valet Vet?

I came up with the concept because I wanted to offer high-quality medicine in a convenient way to busy clients. I know that as a busy mom of two, taking my pets to the veterinarian would be very challenging, if not impossible, and I always wondered how many other people would benefit from having a service that came to their front door. Well, that question was quickly answered shortly after we began operating. We see so many different types of clients, but the majority have two things in common: they have a hard time finding the time to care for their pets because of their schedules, and they care very deeply that their pets not only receive high-quality medicine, but are also comfortable and safe during their visit with the vet.

What inspired you to start Valet Vet?

I wanted to be different. There are so many veterinary clinics and so many veterinarians out there that sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the idea that I was following the same crowd. That’s never been me. So, with the help of my husband and a little “thinking outside the box,” we were able to not only fill a unique need, but were also able to create a concept that is mutually rewarding. I love going to work!

Can you tell me a little about your mobile clinic?

We have a state-of-the-art 26” mobile clinic on wheels. I am very proud of it. Inside, we have a surgical suite dedicated to surgery, a full exam room and a treatment area with full digital x-ray capabilities. We also have a mini-laboratory that allows us to preform minor laboratory procedures on-site. We are hoping to add an ultrasound on this year, too!

What do you love most about being able to practice from your mobile clinic?

I love getting to know my clients. When I practiced in a clinic, I was lucky if I got to see the same client more than once. Now, I get to see my clients routinely and have built some lasting relationships.

What is the most rewarding and challenging part of being a veterinarian?

The most rewarding part is knowing that I can, and do, make a difference. The most challenging part, for me personally, is knowing that there are times when I can’t help. Sometimes the animal’s cancer is too far-gone, or the illness went untreated too long. I grieve with my client’s as they go through their loss, and it is never easy.

What do you like to do when you’re not practicing veterinary medicine?

When I’m not practicing, I try to spend as much time with my children and husband as I can. I have two young children who are growing up before my eyes and I’m trying not to miss any of it.

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