Dr. Sarah Puchalski is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology whose specialty includes the interpretation of bone scans, MRI, ultrasound, radiographs and other diagnostic imaging techniques. With her addition to the staff, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is one of the few equine hospitals in the country to employ a full-time radiologist on-site. In addition to working with horses locally and assisting veterinarians around the world, Dr. Puchalski is also competing this season in the Medium and High Amateur Owner Jumpers at the Winter Equestrian Festival. It is important for clients to get know our doctors so we asked Dr. Puchalski to share a little about herself.
Q: How do you like being in Wellington and having the opportunity to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival?
A: I think it is a really unbelievable opportunity to ride in the most competitive rings in the country regardless of the level at which you are competing.
Q: How do you like working at Palm Beach Equine Clinic?
A: Palm Beach Equine Clinic is great place to work. It is very vibrant and busy. I like the energy that comes out of the place and the imaging equipment is world-class.
Q: Why do you feel it is important to have a Board Certified Radiologist on site?
A: My full time job is image reviews which takes a high level of specialization that provides support for all veterinarians ranging from field veterinarians to surgeons. It is very rare for an equine hospital to have a full-time radiologist so having one on board offers a step up in the quality of service. When a horse comes in for an MRI or bone scan everything can be reviewed before the horse leaves the clinic so if any other care is needed it can be handled in one visit.
Q: What ways do veterinarians use radiologists?
A: There are a couple ways. One is that I read complicated images such as bone scans and MRIs. Most veterinarians do not have the training to read these images. The second way is to provide a second opinion on routine diagnostic techniques such as radiographs and ultrasounds. Clients and referral veterinarians will also use my opinion for pre-purchase examinations.
Q: How did you develop such and impressive reputation throughout the world?
A: I did two internships in field service and sports medicine at New Bolton Center Hospital at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinarian Medicine. I spent four years at the University of California, Davis in imaging. I stayed there as faculty for eight years doing research instruction and clinical service. I have published more than 50 scientific articles and performed over 100 presentations all over the world on lameness diagnosis and Diagnostic Imaging in Sport Horses.
Q: What would you like veterinarians and owners to know about you?
A: My philosophy is to support all veterinarians, whether it be a veterinarian from Palm Beach Equine Clinic or a referral veterinarian. I read cases from all over the world on a daily basis. Many owners ask their veterinarian to consult with me for a second opinion. I view my role more as a support role for all veterinarians to help provide the best care for the horse.