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Unveiling the Telemedicine Maverick: Dr. Kimberly Hammer's Journey to Revolutionize Veterinary Care

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Here at VOCN we value all of our specialists! Everyone has a unique story and their own reason why they have entered the world of telemedicine. That is why we are starting ⭐VOCN-STARS⭐. We will be celebrating a VOCN specialist every month to acknowledge their devotion to digital care delivery, This month Meet Dr. Kimberly Hammer VMD, DACVIM.

Dr. Hammer received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She spent a year at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine for a small animal internship and returned to the University of Pennsylvania for a two-year residency in small animal internal medicine. She earned board certification from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2004.

We have been so grateful to have Dr. Hammer partner with us. We asked Dr. Hammer why she chose to work in telemedicine:

Dr. Hammer replied, "There are lots of reasons why!! I’ve really enjoyed telemedicine as an internal medicine specialist. I love thinking about cases, looking things, up, and combing through medical records like a detective. I get to do this in the comfort of my own home without the distractions and interruptions of the busy clinic, and I am able to pick a time that fits my schedule. In this way, I feel I am better serving that patient by really focusing and thinking about the case before me." Dr. Hammer mentioned one VOCN TeleConsult case that really stood out to her. "Libby was a 15 year old fs Chihuahua with very non-specific signs. She ended up being a Cushingoid dog who became Addisonian iatrogenically from trilostane usage. I have manage Cushing’s dogs day in and day out and have seen the difficult-to-manage cases including the cases where things have gone wrong. As a specialist, my exposure to these types of cases is frequent. I was able to evaluate Libby and make a recommendation that may have not been obvious to a primary care veterinarian who has less experience with these patients." Dr. Tina Neel, hospital founder and medical director commented, "Dr. Hammer did a wonderful job on this case!" Dr Kimberly Hammer replied, "thank you -- it is pleasure to serve as an expert resource to guide your team of vets with challenging cases and elevate your standard of care with us!"

Dr. Hammer wanted to give her opinion on telemedicine and why Veterinarians and specialists should really consider telemedicine.

"I think there are circumstances where a patient needs to be seen in person by a specialist or needs the full resources of a referral hospital. I also think there are patients that just need more intensive medical record reviews by a specialist to help put all the pieces together for a plan. There are, however, also patients where access to specialty care is limited. Those are the patients who benefit from telemedicine. The sheer volume of cases has overwhelmed many primary care veterinarians and also many specialists. This is a way to off-load some of the stable cases away from referral hospitals so they can focus on the sicker pet population and at the same time support a primary care veterinarian who may not be comfortable managing a stable but complex internal medicine case. It also provides more direct communication between the specialist and primary care veterinarian which allows for a better exchange of information and the opportunity for everyone to learn more."

Dr. Hammer has gone above and beyond the call of duty as a TeleSpecialist on VOCN to provide exceptional attention to the details of the TeleConsults she performs. She has been an awesome resource to guide the primary care veterinarians who use VOCN to diagnose complex medical conditions accurately and develop effective treatment plans while proving you don't have to be present in clinical practice to do so.

Let's all celebrate our ⭐VOCN-STAR⭐ this month Dr. Kimberly Hammer VMD, DACVIM.!

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