For Western students, faculty and staff who get sick, there is a new face to greet them at Student Health Services.
Dr. Patricia Blewett, who was hired this semester at health services, has been in practice since 1985.
“I have always wanted to be a physician,” Blewett said. “I made the decision to become a doctor in seventh grade. Helping people excited me and science intrigued me, so it was a good way to combine the two.”
Libby Greaney, director of health services, describes Blewett as “extremely professional, detail-oriented, compassionate and very committed to her patients.”
Blewett stood out from all the other applicants.
“Her application was outstanding,” Greaney said. “She also had very relevant experience. We were targeting a female MD to give people a choice. She also came to us with the experience of being an emergency room physician.”
The decision to come to Western was not a hard one to make.
“I had been in private practice for 10 years,” Blewett said. “I felt I needed a new challenge, and my husband grew up in this area, so this is where we wanted to stay. Western is wonderful. There is so much energy in the staff and the students.
“I enjoy it tremendously and find it a challenge because I’m dealing with a budding adult who sometimes wants help making decisions and sometimes wants to be independent. It means I have to work harder to communicate to them.”
Blewett attended College of the Holy Cross in Western Massachusetts before heading to medical school at George Washington University in Washington D.C. She completed her residency at the Medical Center of Delaware in Wilmington.
“I am a board-certified family physician, and that means I’ve been trained to treat people in all stages of life, from infants to grandparents,” Blewett said.
Something that Blewett has always wanted to do is travel more extensively.
“I would like to go far east, like Russia,” Blewett said. “I did get to spend four years with the U.S. Army in Germany. [It] gave me insight to different people and cultures.”
Blewett also has an interest in talking to campus organizations.
“I have always had an interest in women’s health issues,” she said. “I am available to meet with any campus organization to give medical information, and I can discuss any type of topic to that group.”
Blewett is in the office during the regular hours of health services, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m., and on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“We at the health services can take care of almost any concerns they might have, and if we can’t take care of it here, we can help them find the right location,” Blewett said.
On an average day, health services sees around 75 patients. So far this year, the highest number of people they have seen in one day is 106.
Greaney estimates that in the next three to four years, health services will see 150 to 180 people a day due to increasing enrollment and word of mouth.
“We decided to hire a new doctor because of increase in volume and an increase in faculty and staff coming here,” Greaney said. “We just wanted to elevate the quality of our services. Our number one goal is to accommodate our patients. We have been so busy, we are looking at hiring another one.”
Heather Shockley, a freshman from Westmoreland, Tenn., had a good experience with health services.
“I would recommend the health services to other students because all the staff was friendly and helpful,” Shockley said. “The wait wasn’t long, even though I was a walk-in.”
Reach Jill Fisher at [email protected]