A love for pets, a passion for helping others, and a commitment to serving the community—that’s all in a day’s work for our veterinarians and staff members at Back Bay Veterinary Clinic. Get to know their stories and contact us for an appointment soon! We can’t wait to meet you.
Pamela Bendock, VMD (Owner)
Pam knew she wanted to be a veterinarian at the age of four. After receiving undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center. Pam’s desire to bring high-quality veterinary care to one of Boston’s favorite neighborhoods led to the founding of Back Bay Veterinary Clinic in 2000. With a big heart and a soft touch for her patients and their families, Pam leads the team and constantly strives to bring the most exceptional and progressive care to the practice.
Outside the office, Pam can be found with her two daughters, husband, and their menagerie of pets. She enjoys equestrian sports, gardening, yoga, and exercise. A foodie at heart, Pam’s always in pursuit of the next best bakery, ice cream shop, or artisanal offering.
My desire to become a veterinarian became evident at four years of age. My dog had found a baby cottontail rabbit in our yard and we did our best to try to save it. I can vividly recall the compassion of Dr. Fred Merz, who tried to gently explain that the possibility of saving this rabbit was slim and even our best might not be good enough. The kindness he showed to both this small creature and to me was something that has stuck with me forever. While the bunny did not survive, the lesson and the feeling have constantly fueled my desire to try and help, to try and make a difference to those creatures who cannot speak for themselves. In that, I find incredible satisfaction and fulfillment.
I’ve got a few favorite parts of my job as a practice owner. The first is creating a culture of excellence. Our industry is driven not only by medicine but by customer care and experience. My overarching goal is to have each client leave the practice feeling as if we exceeded their expectations in care and service. While that goal is not always attainable, we strive to make each day the best it can be for our patients, their families, and ourselves. And when we don’t, I take it very much to heart and do my best to set things right. I love watching the organized chaos of a neighborhood clinic, with everything buzzing at once and everyone doing exactly what they need to do so that we may keep the day running and provide care for those who need us, whenever they need us. And I also love observing the extraordinary bonds that form between team members and I’m proud to say that many of them form lifelong friendships under the roof of this practice.
If I wasn’t me, I’d be Joanne Chang. I love everything about flour and baking is my therapeutic release. There’s something about the aroma, the use of the hands and the creation of yummy baked goods that makes me really happy. Perhaps that comes from my innate desire to see others joyful, which is not always possible in my role, but seems much easier to achieve when you’re creating good food. How could you not be happy about a chocolate chip cookie? Or a peanut butter cookie, or carrot cake, or a cinnamon bun?
Erin Carey, DVM (Medical Director)
Dr. Carey grew up in Connecticut and came to the Boston area for her undergraduate education in cognitive neuroscience at Harvard. After working in finance and health economics for 10 years, she attended the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and graduated with her DVM in 2015. She has a special interest in animal dentistry.
Visiting St. Thomas in 2010 and realizing that the most exciting part of the trip was seeing and interacting with all the animals there, including the many roaming island cats, mating iguanas, and friendly sea turtles.
Playing the cello. I’ve never picked up a bow in my life, but I wish to learn someday!
Tacos. No contest.
Getting to know the quirks of all the owners and pets that come through the office and become part of our family.
Tess Gannaway, DVM
Dr. Tess Gannaway hails from nearby Providence, Rhode Island. She attended Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City for her undergraduate degree. After graduation, she returned to the area and attended Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. During her time at Tufts, she traveled to various continents to study disease transmission between humans and animals with a focus on the burgeoning interdisciplinary concept of “One Health” and gender.
After graduating veterinary school, Dr. Gannaway completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship in Tucson, Arizona with a focus on emergency medicine and trauma. Although she fell in love with the desert, she returned home to the East Coast to be closer to her family. Dr. Gannaway can treat a variety of pets including birds, and her special interests include emergency medicine, zoonotic disease, and palliative/end of life care. Outside of the clinic she spends her time running, swimming, and going on adventures with her geriatric desert poodle Creature, who you can see wandering around the clinic on any given day, living the life.
Anything that is a carbohydrate or made of sugar! Icing comes to mind... or challah bread...
My tiny white rescue poodle Creature—who lives a very cushy retirement here at Back Bay. She is showered with affection and love by the staff and clients constantly. She also naps 95% of her work day. It’s quite a step up from being homeless in the Arizona desert!
After a nice long run taking a hot shower, eating some sort of carbohydrate (told you!) and watching TV with my human and animals (while most likely falling asleep after the first challenge of Master Chef Junior is announced...)
Sharon King, DVM
Dr. King grew up on Cape Cod and obtained her undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst. She spent a few years conducting immunology research here in Boston before continuing her education at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship at Oklahoma State University before moving back to Massachusetts in 2014. Her special interests include avian/exotics medicine and emergency/critical care medicine.
To play the fiddle! Because it has an amazing sound and would bring me one step closer to having a family band.
When I’m with my husband and kids doing any outside activity.
Performing on Broadway!
Suzy Pence, DVM
Dr. Suzy Pence returned to Boston after spending many years in Alaska, California, Vermont, and Washington. She graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has special interests in end of life care, pain management, and alternative medicine. She has completed a course in small animal acupuncture and is very excited to introduce this modality to Back Bay Veterinary Clinic.
My happiest moments come when I am out in the beauty of nature; hiking or snowshoeing a mountain, kayaking quiet waters, biking along the coast or sitting and meditating in a meadow.
If asked this question when I was first entering the profession, I would have answered that my favorite part was coming to a successful diagnosis that led to the recovery of my patient. And don’t get me wrong, that is still wonderful. However, my answer has shifted over the years. Quite surprising to me, my favorite part of my job comes from my cancer patients and end of life care. And a large reason for this is the relationship I forge with my patient’s companion people. I am humbled by the trust placed in me and honored that individuals allow themselves to be vulnerable in my presence as we discuss difficult topics or say goodbye to beloved friends. My chosen profession to care for animals has led me to be much more compassionate toward my own species.
One funny moment came when I was working in Fairbanks, Alaska with caribou. The summer prior to being hired full time at the Large Animal Research Station, I was an intern and bottle-raised a caribou calf; her name was Eider. We were inseparable. After my internship I left for several months and returned the following spring. I wasn’t exactly sure she would remember me, but when I called her by her nickname, “Sweet Pea,” out in the field, she picked up her head and started sprinting toward me! No longer a 40-pound calf, but a 120-pound adult with growing antlers. I thought for sure she was going to tackle me! Luckily, she pulled up short and merely danced around me. Made me laugh and melted my heart!
Graham Sager-Gellerman, DVM
Dr. Graham Sager-Gellerman graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. His clinical interests include preventative health care, pain management, dermatology, and nutrition. He has a commitment to effective communication and values a strong doctor-client relationship. When not at the clinic, Dr. SG spends his time hiking, cooking, following baseball and hanging out with his adopted dog, Lily.
I have always been fascinated by science, and passionate about public health. I get so much joy in helping others and love working as part of a team. Veterinary medicine offers it all: innovative medical approaches, the prevention and management of infectious disease, incredible client relationships, and unparalleled teamwork.
A llama. They are fluffy, graceful, and hilarious.
A lobster roll would magically appear when I snapped my fingers.
Katherine Wheeler, DVM
Dr. Katherine Wheeler is from Cambridge, MA. She completed her undergraduate degree at Colorado College and graduated from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, earning the Academic Achievement Award and admission into the international veterinary honor society, Phi Zeta. After veterinary school, Dr. Wheeler completed a community medicine small animal rotating internship at Angell Animal Medical Center. Her interests include surgery (soft tissue and select orthopedic procedures), ultrasonography, and internal medicine.
I wish I was a talented artist—either drawing or painting, or even working with clay.
Definitely ice cream and cheese. Is that 2 foods? Let’s just say dairy then. I could live on mint chocolate chip ice cream and stinky cheese.
In Vermont in the fall with my family, picking and pressing apples on our farm.
Kristine Hughes, Practice Manager
A member of the Back Bay vet team since 2010, Kristine was asked to help manage our organization in 2014. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in psychology, she has worked in general practice and emergency medicine for several years. A diligent worker with tremendous ability to manage even the most difficult situations, Kristine will gain your trust from your first meeting. When she is not advocating for the animal and human health community, you can often find her enjoying the outdoors, cooking, or planning a fun trip.
Kacey Tiersch, Veterinary Nurse, CVT
Knowing that I am able to help and advocate for my patients every day is what inspired me. Nothing is worse than seeing a pet sick or in pain, but it makes me feel great knowing that I am able to help them feel happy and healthy again, and seeing how appreciative and happy the owner becomes.
The people I work with! Even though some days can be sad/tough, my team always knows how to keep the positivity going.
Graduating form Mount Ida's veterinary technician program and later becoming a CVT!
Andreia Stiffler, Veterinary Nurse, CVT
I grew up with dogs, chickens and fish and we got our first cat when I was in high school, so I always loved animals. It was after one of my dogs got hit by a car and I saw up close all the care involved in his recovery that I decided I wanted to care for animals.
A cat because they are smart, graceful, and independent.
What I love most about my job is that I get to help the animals. Cuddling all the puppies and kittens is a very close second! 🙂
Teresa Fardella, Veterinary Nurse, CVT
I could eat ice cream every day forever.
If I was an animal I would be a cat so I could sleep for 16+ hours a day and only wake up to eat.
I am happiest when I am in ballet class or performing onstage.
Gabriella Araya, Veterinary Nurse, CVT
I would want the ability to talk to animals.
I would most likely be a cat because of how much I love to sleep!
I would love to work in the art field, creating cartoons.
Kaitlin Aftosmes, Veterinary Nurse
I would be a capybara because they love vegetables, sunbathing, and swimming just like me!
Teleportation! That way I could visit my family in other states.
Being able to build relationships with clients and pets and providing them with the best possible care!
Eileen Leavey, Veterinary Nurse
Lounging by the ocean with the sun shining, a good book and yummy food.
Being able to advocate for patients who are truly unable to do so themselves. I also love being able to interact with people (both coworkers and clients, alike) that are just as passionate about animals and their well-being.
If I didn't work in veterinary medicine I would probably be working in marine biology and/or conservation or in human medicine in some capacity.
Katie O'gara, Veterinary Nurse
I truly enjoy working with anesthesia and surgical cases. I find that there is a special bond that is created between myself and the clients and their pets. Being able to help educate owners and treat their furry family members will always be dear to my heart.
Working as nurse anesthetist.
Most definitely would be tacos or maybe sushi or maybe chocolate... I can't decide!
Madison Bridge, Veterinary Nurse
I would be an orca because they are highly intelligent and are very family-oriented.
I would choose teleportation because I love exploring new places.
Mary Moseley, Veterinary Nurse
If I woke up as an animal, it would probably be a cat – my cat, specifically. He spends his days eating, sleeping, lounging, enjoying attention, and occasionally playing. What more could you ask for?
I’m happiest when I’m exploring a new place – or relaxing at home with my cat and a good book!
The power to talk to animals (or to fly!).
Katrina Kohler-Tiedeman, Director of Client Services
Anywhere in nature! I love to hike, kayak and bike.
I loved Farley, the neighbors' Golden Retriever. The older I got the more attached I became to Farley and even considered him my best friend. Unfortunately, Farley was diagnosed with cancer when I was in 6th grade. Once I found out, I organized a garage sale and all proceeds went towards his care. A few months later he lost his battle with cancer but I never forgot my first experience and loving an animal.
Kate Fry, Groomer
Described as a Groomer Extraordinaire, Kate Fry has been with Back Bay Veterinary Clinic the longest and is a huge asset to the practice. With the patience of a saint and a talent for bringing out the best in each of her clients, Kate can be found happily ensconced in creating her latest masterpiece behind the scenes of 288 Newbury. Her following is wide and appreciative, and they prance out of the practice looking great and feeling even better! Born and raised in New York City, Kate graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1985 with a BA in theatre and writing. She attended the New York School of Dog Grooming in 1991, worked at Amsterdog Groomers in New York and joined our team in July 2001. She enjoys writing, reading and photography, and music keeps her going throughout each day. Off hours are spent with her husband Jeff and son William, both of whom find ways to make her laugh.