Someone You Should Know: Dr. Robert Tillotson - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Someone You Should Know: Dr. Robert Tillotson

by Pam Warnke

STEVENS POINT (WAOW)-- Fresh off a trip to Peru Dr. Robert Tillotson talks about his time there.

"When you go to a foreign country and you're American, a lot of times people aren't sure why you're there.  And, they're not sure how you view them," said Tillotson.

But after three previous trips, Peruvians certainly know why the doctor and his team are here.

"Each year, it has gotten better and better and this year this trip was really the pinnacle of that.  The people in the community really knew that we were really there to serve them and really help them," Tillotson said.

The team sets up a clinic to see many who are not accustomed to medical care.

Some estimates show 50 percent of the country lives in poverty.

Those who get to a doctor for treatment often can't afford the medications.

So when a clinic run by Americans goes up, Peruvians lineup.

Tillotson uses ultrasound to help diagnose many of their problems.

"It's right at the bedside.  It's right now information that we are able to do."

The doctor has used ultrasound in his practice at Saint Michael's for almost 8 years now.

"One of the reasons I actually went down the route of ultrasound was because the desire and the stress of our job of trying to get information as soon as we can to try and come up with a diagnosis and make a difference."

In time sensitive scenarios, ultrasound allows Dr. Tillotson to diagnose more independently.

"I was always dependent on somebody else for answers which created great delays at time."

During those delays, a lot questions.

"Okay, what's going on in their abdomen.  Why are they having chest pains?  Why are they short of breath?  Why can't they see?"

Coming up with a diagnosis faster, results in faster treatment.  Dr. Tillotson feels it has vastly improved his abilities.

"Because it's not radiation, it has really little risk.  So it can be used almost anywhere.  Somebody has an injury to their eye or a change in their vision, I have them close their eye, put some gel on it and I can actually look in and see the whole globe, the whole eye, the retina.  I can see what it looks like," said Tillotson.

Seeing anything, anywhere, even in Peru, where 2 trips ago Tillotson hauled the machine for the first time to the chagrin of some on his team.

It was a trip filled with new opportunity and new hope thanks to ultrasound, in an atmosphere that had recently been struck by an earthquake.  One experience showed how everything comes full circle.

"The thing that really impacted me at that time was having a pregnant woman come in who was worried her baby. She had suffered through the earthquake and really didn't know if everything was alright.  And, to see her face when I did the ultrasound was just very exciting."

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke


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