And, Not to Be Outdone

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As long as I am on a roll acknowledging a few of the many remarkable people I work with, I want to recognize one of our technicians, Gwen Francisco. A few months ago, Gwen passed an advanced pain management certification examination. Gwen is now a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and proudly displays "CVPP" in her professional title, after "LVT" (Licensed Veterinary Technician).

Gwen actually came to us and veterinary medicine as her second career after a career in journalism including a stint as a news director at NPR. Gwen has been passionate about pain control and has been pursuing this certification for some time. There is a CVPP technician at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, but Gwen, to our knowledge, is the only other one in Washington.

We have seen remarkable advancements in our ability to treat pain. Constant rate infusion pain medications during and after surgery, ketamine drips for chronic pain, widespread use of local anesthesia, including soaker catheters after large surgeries, testicular blocks, line blocks and more aggressive opioid and gabapentin use are all things Gwen helped bring to the table. All of our doctors regularly consult with Gwen on pain control strategies and our internal debate about the best way to make patients comfortable and happy is constant.

Timothy R Kraabel, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline Practice)  
Vice President, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners