There aren’t many people who can say they did their fellowship training in infectious diseases during a pandemic, but Dr. Veronica Bandres Urbina can. During that fellowship, she faced the challenges of COVID and learned from it. “We’ve learned that we are vulnerable to any new infections. It’s taken us awhile to learn about this infection and how it spreads. I think being cautious is the biggest thing we need to do, like with masking in the beginning, and it teaches us about the importance of vaccinations.”
She’s now starting the new CMC Infectious Diseases practice at Conway Medical Center. She expects to see cases of cellulitis and tick and mosquito-borne diseases, as well as care for patients with Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. She will help to diagnose other diseases as well. She’s excited to build the practice from the ground up and build relationships with her patients. “It’s like a mental challenge for me every time. It’s not an easy specialty because we usually get called in when things get complicated. I think that’s what I like most about it. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored.” Her family life is busy as well. She and her husband have a 2-month-old daughter. She loves outdoor activities, especially hiking. She also enjoys reading books and recently joined an online book club.
She says her father, who is a gastroenterologist, was her inspiration for going into medicine. She grew up in Venezuela where her family, including extended family, was an important part of her life. Her mother, who is a lawyer, was a stay-at-home mom for her two younger sisters and her. She said with a smile she was “super nerdy” in high school and loved biology as well as helping people, so that led her straight into medicine. After medical school in Venezuela, she worked as a general physician for a year. She learned to practice medicine and provide the best care possible with few resources and treated many patients who came from a low socio-economic background. She believes living in South America and seeing tropical diseases nurtured her love for working with infectious diseases. After coming to the United States and completing her residency in internal medicine in Philadelphia, she decided to do her fellowship in infectious diseases. “We are going to be exposed to viruses during our lives. There’s always going to be a new variant and a new virus.” She looks forward to her opportunity to grow as a physician in her new practice.
Infections are common and our bodies can usually take care of them. But prolonged, severe or unusual infections need expert attention. That’s where Conway Medical Center comes in.
At CMC Infectious Diseases, Dr. Veronica Bandres specializes in identifying and treating conditions caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.