Dr. Seema Joshi Patel has always been happiest when surrounded by animals, whether it was pet sitting for others or volunteering at animal shelters. She discovered the field of veterinary medicine in college and has been in love with it ever since.
What sparked your passion for emergency medicine?
I became interested in emergency medicine during my rotating internship. I enjoy the challenge of treating a variety of conditions and stabilizing critical patients but also being there for families when needed. One of the best parts of my job is being able to collaborate with other specialties to provide the best care possible for our patients.
What is your philosophy of patient care?
It is important to provide high-quality care to all of my patients because I see each patient as a member of someone’s family. I know a visit to an ER is a stressful experience, so I strive to help clients understand the details of their case so they can make an informed decision for their pet.
What are some of your biggest challenges in emergency medicine?
One of the biggest challenges is having a patient that is very sick with normal test results. It can be frustrating not knowing exactly why a patient is sick and how best to treat them.
Is there a particular case that has inspired you?
Towards the end of my internship, I had a young female Rottweiler come in early in the morning. She had suddenly started vomiting, having diarrhea and was declining quickly. She was in critical condition and required intensive care. We were able to start stabilizing her, and after four intensive days in our ICU, she was back to her normal self! That case is one of my inspirations for being an emergency doctor. It showed me that even when things look bad in the beginning, a happy ending can be possible.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cheering on my Chicago sports teams and baking for others. When we are not eating my newest baking creation, my husband and I like traveling and spend time with our families.