Dr. Tannis Lochhead is a lecturer in the radiology service.
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, spending as much time around horses as possible. My passion for animals started from a young age and, as I went through school, I always knew I would do something with them as part of my career. I’m the oldest of three girls and I really value family, be it back in Canada or now at my home in Gainesville, Fla., with my husband, three dogs, two cats, and horse! My veterinary education took me initially to Ross University for one year before transferring to Oklahoma State University, where I completed my DVM.
What draws you to radiology?
I’ve always had a keen interest in puzzles and problem solving; radiology really fits with that part of my personality. I enjoy the quiet concentration required and the satisfaction of figuring things out and helping others. I feel like my time studying horse behavior and helping difficult horses really fostered and helped grow this set of skills. While in school, I never imagined doing more school, but my radiology professor at Oklahoma State saw that I had a keen interest and natural ability. I think it’s important to share that I wasn’t that student that always knew radiology was their path during school, but I had to discover it through experience. I was fortunate to have many great mentors along the way, not only my radiology professor but throughout my training at BluePearl, Mississippi State, and University of Florida.
Tell us about a favorite case of yours.
Honestly, this is a tough question to answer. The cases that a radiologist finds interesting typically result in poor outcomes for our patients. The cases that stand out to me are the cases where an imaging diagnosis dramatically improved the patient’s quality of life, or saved it. During my residency, an older pittie had chronic weight loss and intermittent vomiting over the course of a few months. She was referred to our oncology service for a cancer workup. I performed an abdominal ultrasound. It turned out that she did not, in fact, have cancer, but a chronic linear foreign body that perforated and sealed over a few times. It was crazy! She walked into the ultrasound room wagging her tail – she was not as sick as you’d think! She ultimately went to surgery and had the foreign material removed and made a full recovery.
What are your special interests outside of the clinic?
Within the clinic, I have a keen interest in scanning and interpreting ultrasound cases. Additionally, exotic cases are a passion of mine. Outside of the clinic, aside from horses, I love to spend time with my husband and fur children.