|Volume 15, Issue 7||
Dr. Merrill made his way to Portland in 1985 to enjoy windsurfing and skiing. He started his Portland career at Dove Lewis (the Portland Veterinary Emergency Hospital) in 1985 and worked there until 1992 serving as Temporary Chief of Staff until Dr. Bob Franklin, a specialist, was recruited to run the emergency hospital. At the time, there were only two or three emergency specialists in the entire city.
Dr. Norman came to Portland in 1995, after serving in the U.S. Navy. Both Dr. Merrill and Dr. Norman started their veterinary careers in emergency medicine, often working overnight shifts and seeing complicated emergency cases. This experience has provided both of them a unique skill set usually developed only by specialists.
The clinic has managed to grow quickly by providing services to the rapidly growing Bethany community while still being convenient to surrounding areas. They have about 3000 clients with about 7500 pets. Smart management practices and caring people make each client feel like the center of attention. Plenty of exam rooms means that most pet appointments begin shortly after arrival, putting less stress on the animals.
In addition to the eight doctors, the staff includes Veterinary Technicians, Doctor’s Assistants, and Client Care Representatives. Veterinary Technicians receive certification after completing a two-year degree. They are essentially Veterinary Nurses. They can administer Rabies vaccines, induce anesthesia, install microchips, and provide a variety of other more technical medical assistance procedures.
Doctor’s Assistants help the doctors complete their procedures as efficiently as possible. They help in the exam room, record details on patient charts, monitor patients in the treatment area, assist on house calls, call clients for follow up exam scheduling, and perform a variety of other tasks focusing on doctor expedience.
Client Care Representatives are more involved in client care than is usually seen in a veterinary clinic. They record medical history, take temperatures and weight during patient check-in, as well as the more typical clerical duties of check in, check out, payments, and scheduling.
In addition to standard veterinary medicine, pet owners can choose to have their pets treated with alternative approaches when it is appropriate, including acupuncture and massage. Dr. Velasco is a certified Acupuncturist, as is Dr. Liu, Dr. Velasco is a certified Tuina specialist (pet massage). She is also working on Herbalist certification.
Dr. Norman says, “We are extraordinarily humble to be in a community with such great clientele. This is a great location with lots of events to participate in and really feel part of the community. We are truly blessed to be here.”
Dr. Reyes, who moved to Portland from Puerto Rico, says, “Our clients are very nice. They are willing to do what is needed for their pets. We are able to do a lot of veterinary procedures here. It is the full aspect of being a veterinarian.”
Boarding is available for healthy cats and dogs. Overnight medical monitoring is offered at Dove Lewis.
Visit the clinic’s website to learn more.
Thanks to Cindy Sawyer who provided us with great answers to our questions.
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PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291