Katie Bennett, DVM, DACVAAAnesthesia & Pain Management
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Board Certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia
Dr. Bennett has been passionate about animals since the age of 4 when she recognized that they did not communicate like people. She became a veterinarian so that she could advocate for animals and be their voice.
How did you become interested in anesthesia and pain management?
I knew I wanted to specialize almost as soon as I got into veterinary school. I chose anesthesia because it combines the intricacies of species variations with physiology and disease as well as pharmacology. Anesthesia cannot be successful if every protocol and procedure is the same and I sincerely thrive off the ever-changing environment and conditions. I enjoy the moving parts and pieces and really love being part of a team that is responsible for patient care. Whether the patient needs surgery or imaging or other diagnostics, anesthesia facilitates the process by placing patient care, safety and comfort as the top priority. I also love the idea of pain management – being able to be involved in managing acute and chronic pain, improving quality of life in those patients that cannot communicate via spoken word will always inspire me to go to work. Critical patient management and difficult anesthesia cases are things that challenge me and inspire me to continue to learn more about my specialty on a daily basis. I get excited when I have the opportunity to try new things (new combinations, new approaches) to enhance the patient experience as well as enhance efficiency and success for the team as a whole.
What is your philosophy of patient care?
I strive to provide exemplary patient care through mitigating the potential discomfort and stress that can be associated with diagnostic or surgical procedures. I utilize drug pharmacology, patient physiology and personalized dedication to each and every patient under my care to achieve ideal anesthetic and analgesic experiences. I also utilize communication with clients to emphasize the role of anesthesia during their pet’s visit: what we are providing, what role we have in their pet’s stay with the hospital and how our focus is individualized for each patient.
What are some of the biggest challenges in your area of expertise?
Anesthesia has several challenges as a specialty because we depend on other specialties in order to make our specialty work. I don’t see this as a challenge, rather as an opportunity for teamwork and advancement of the profession. Anesthesia has always been known as one of the more intimidating parts of medicine, which makes it exciting for me – I love being able to remove the intimidation and instill confidence in the teams responsible for patient care in the perioperative period.
What inspires or motivates you?
I have had the privilege to work with a variety of cases, but pacemaker implantation (for patients with severely low heart rates) has always been my favorite procedure. I also anesthetized the first-ever documented balloon valvuloplasty of pulmonic stenosis in an alpaca to correct its congenital defect and provide it with a chance for a normal lifespan.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy exercising (Barre, CrossFit, running) as well as spending time with my Australian Shepherd, Levi. My favorite places to eat are unique restaurants with eclectic ethnic foods and I enjoy finding new places to explore via food and drink. As a “double-graduate” from Purdue University, my college sports alliance is purely Black & Gold (Boiler Up!) and I enjoy watching the Boilermakers play football and basketball. I grew up racing sailboats, so I try to be near the water during the majority of the summer months. I am planning on solidifying some opportunities for international travel and visit many different parts of the world, including Thailand, India, Australia and several countries in South America. I also enjoy baking for others – my next step is to take a cake decorating class!