Doctor returns to hometown to practice Internal Medicine
It’s not everyday a Valley View doctor can tell patients a story about growing up around the corner, but Glenwood Springs’ newest doctor, Tess Jankovsky can. And even fewer can tell those same stories in Spanish. The 30-year-old doctor has returned to her roots to practice internal medicine (IM) at Valley View. The Glenwood Springs High School alumna studied for and earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, then moved west to complete her internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle, Washington.
Dr. Jankovsky loves the relationship a doctor can form with a patient, making internal medicine, which looks at a health issue from every aspect and takes a holistic approach to diagnosis, a good option for her. There was never a moment in her life she could pin down as the deciding factor that she’d likely become a doctor, the first in her family, but she always knew something about it appealed to her sensibilities. “Medicine just seemed like a natural fit for me,” she said, “in particular internal medicine.”
Tess was introduced to internal medicine during medical school, and explored what it would mean for her career in helping patients. Internal medicine doctors, or internists, consider all possible factors, not just biological, in determining treatment and diagnosis of problems. “What I really like about IM is building long term relationships with my patients: the face-to-face interaction, getting to really know the person, and providing a wide range of medical care to adults, ranging from wellness visits and primary care to complex disease and chronic illness management,” she said.
She uses the opportunity of creating long term relationships to really discover who a patient is and what might be contributing to their health. “I really like the analytical piece that comes into play when working towards a diagnosis and treatment plan,” Jankovsky said. “I also like the holistic, or whole body approach, taking into consideration environmental and social effects on the health of my patients.”
Dr. Jankovsky knows that these environmental and social effects are often dependent on the type of places patients are living. People in more metropolitan settings might have different factors playing a role in their health than those living in rural towns. Knowing this motivated her to see both sides of IM. Her medical training was done in urban areas at larger medical centers where certain factors, such as pollution or high stress, are more prevalent. Dr. Jankovsky knew she wanted to work with patients in intimate communities because of the support and personalization she could provide there. “I had a great experience while doing my internship and residency in Seattle,” she said. “It allowed me to step out and see something different by working in a larger healthcare system. But all along I pictured myself living and working in a smaller town in Colorado.”
This desire to work in a small Colorado town probably came from the memories of her childhood spent in Glenwood. Her mother was an interpreter in the schools and at a family nurse partnership program, providing at home interpretation services for new mom’s. Watching her mother help bridge language barriers in the community, especially new families, inspired her to take interest in other languages. She is now fluent in Spanish, but hasn’t had an occasion to use it at Valley View. She hopes that day comes soon because she knows how much she can help people, especially if they feel more comfortable using Spanish.
For Tess, coming back to Glenwood was more than just a homecoming; it was an opportunity with something special for her as a doctor. “Having one very experienced provider at an internal medicine clinic was a must for me,” she said. “So to be in a situation where I have four or five incredibly experienced internists, who are really respected by their peers and in the community, is incredible.” She looks forward to the next few months while she settles in to her new job in a familiar place. And she anticipates the differences she can make, the relationships she will forge, and community she can help will help shape her career into everything she’s worked towards.
“Working at VV is really all I could hope for,” she said. “It was incredible to come back and be able to practice medicine in the community I grew up in, working in the same place with the physicians I looked up to as role models. As a physician it’s important that the learning process never stops, so being a part of a team of extremely talented and experienced internists, I couldn’t be happier.”
Dr. Jankovsky is now accepting patients, no referral necessary. To make an appointment with Tess, Call: 970.384.6707
Internal Medicine at Valley View
1830 Blake Avenue, Suite 207 (second floor)
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601