When you visit us at Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center at Willis, you are typically focused on your pet’s health, and not necessarily on getting to know our team. We consider you and your pet part of our extended family, and want you to get to know us. So, we sat down with one of our star veterinarians, Dr. Stephanie Hutchinson, to learn more about the person behind the white coat.
Question: Where are you from, and how did you end up at Stone Ridge?
Answer: I grew up on our family farm right here in Montgomery County, and came to love animals of all shapes and sizes, although I was particularly drawn to small animals. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in biomedical science, with the goal of becoming a human physician. But, while applying to medical school, I realized that people sometimes make poor choices that lead to their illness. Animals, on the other hand, are honest, and need someone to listen when they are sick. After graduating from veterinary school in 1997, I practiced in Somerset, New Jersey, for 10 years before moving back to Texas. I saw an online advertisement for a position at Stone Ridge, and had remembered driving past the Conroe location and thinking it was beautiful, so I applied.
Q: Who are your four- and two-legged family members?
A: I have three children—one daughter and two sons. My daughter studies civil and environmental engineering at Southern Methodist University, where she is also their Feature Twirler. My older son is completing a carpentry apprenticeship in Pennsylvania, and my younger son is still in high school, and the only one still living at home. My 80-year-old father and his Venzuelan wife moved in with us when the pandemic began, and she cooks us amazing meals from her home country.
As for my four-legged crew, I have three 12-year-old shih tzus—Lilly, Jack, and Jojo, short for Joliet, and chosen after my son watched the movie Gnomio and Juliet—who are siblings. We also have a cat, so our house is constantly busy!
Q: What are some of your favorite things?
A: I love Mexican food, and washing it down with an ice-cold Coke. I also love the outdoors, and prefer a camping trip near a river or in the mountains to a beach vacation. I enjoy visiting different places—I am looking forward to traveling with my family once the pandemic ends, hopefully starting with a cruise next Christmas. I also enjoy blinging up my daughter’s twirling costumes with crystals and rhinestones.
Q: What is something other people may not know about you?
A: I am generally an open book, but most people don’t know that I ran cross country and track when I was an undergraduate at Texas A&M University. I also ran the Houston Marathon when I was only 16 years old.
Q: Do you have any special talents?
A: I am ambidextrous, which really comes in handy when juggling a pet, medical chart, and my stethoscope. I can ride a unicycle—or at least I could when I was younger. I haven’t tried in a while, but I’m sure it’s like riding a bike, right? I can also make a mean pot of chili.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a veterinarian?
A: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t motivated by a desire to help or serve others in some capacity, and I enjoy sharing my love for pets with colleagues and clients. It is most rewarding to gain a client’s respect after a case is resolved and their pet has recovered. I also love applying my medical training to enhance the human-animal bond.
Q: What would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
A: I would love to travel more with my family, and a trip to New Jersey to visit old friends is at the top of the list—after our cruise, of course. I also l hope to make a personalized T-shirt quilt for each of my kids. And, I would like to add a golden retriever to my family someday soon!
Our caring Stone Ridge at Willis team enjoys getting to know you and your pet as much as you enjoy getting to know us. Give us a call to schedule your pet’s next wellness visit so we can stay on top of their medical care. And, while you are here, ask Dr. Hutchinson if her carpenter son has made her anything new, she has hopped on a unicycle lately, or if she has booked that cruise.