Trish Ashley-DeVore, DVM, DACVD
• Why did you first become a veterinarian?
• I’ve been drawn to animals all my life, working with dairy cows as a young child and then companion animals later. When I was a teenager, my neighbor’s dog was hit by a car and no one could help her or the dog. Her veterinarian showed little compassion. At that moment I thought, “Maybe I can show compassion to animals and people by being a veterinarian.”
• My role model was my primary care veterinarian – she graduated from Iowa State in the 70’s as one of the very few women in her class. She was told she would “never be more than a secretary.” And she (quoting Lin-Manuel Miranda), “blew them all away.” She was an inspiration that I too could be a veterinarian.
• What motivates you to go above and beyond basic pet care with the services and approach you provide?
• I find I follow the golden rule: Treat others as I wish to be treated, and that includes times when I am busy and tired. And I remind myself, all pet parents come to us because they love their family members. No matter how challenging the situation, they come from a place of caring.
• If I am a first-time referring pcDVMs, what can I expect when consulting with you?
• First, I need to meet you where you are with your case: What are your concerns / hurdles with this patient? Second, I need to understand your client’s priorities: Are they seeking quality of life more than specific diagnosis? Do they have financial constraints? Are they able to medicate or topically treat their pet?
• Next: lots of questions! 80% of our diagnostics abilities in dermatology are based on knowing the pet’s history.
• Most dermatology cases are chronic, only manageable and not curable. We may not be able to figure everything out and get the best therapeutic plan in 1 sitting. Especially with allergies, I think finding the best therapeutic plan is like trying on shoes — we’ll have to put it on and walk around in it for a while and see how it feels. I will stick through with you until you are comfortable with managing your case to the best of my ability.
• Why do pet owners & pcDVMs continue to come back to seek your advice for their pet care needs?
• Because I /we (my staff) take time to listen to their concerns and we show that we care about their pets. I take time to educate my clients so they know why we’re doing what we’re doing and feel more empowered about their pet’s care. Also, I believe in honesty, and if I don’t know the answer to a question, I will say so. And go try to find the answer.
• What are the specific services or areas of expertise can you help pcDVMs with?
• Much of my derm career in this area of Oregon has dealt with very challenging atopy / environmental allergies. I am versed in helping navigate the therapy options and interviewing clients to know what they can do, and educating clients on chronic allergy management. I also deal with much auto-immune disease such as discoid lupus, pemphigus foliaceus.
• What is your approach to teamwork and communication?
• First, they are essential. We should make an effort to know where your team member is “coming from,” not just your own concerns, which means often pausing and thinking before speaking. Communications need to be honest, 2-way, and involve listening as much or more than speaking.
• If you could only describe yourself with three words, which would you choose?
1.) Short. (physically. I’m 4’10”. With shoes.)
1.a.) (because 1 is not helpful to you): Humble.
• Do you have a mantra or philosophy you that you live by?
• I strive for
1.) “Above all, compassion for others and self”;
2.) “Don’t react, relax.” I often fail at #2. Especially when listening to the news.
• Anything else you would like to add!
• Nope — it’s time for me to listen!