Blood and balance is all in a days’ work for Dr Jo

While she used to deal with as many varied cases as the fictional Dr House when she was working as a Physician, she now has honed in on endocrinology, her experience as a specialist in internal medicine adding to her ability to manage issues patients have in addition to their endocrine disease.

Based at Gateway Private Hospital in uMhlanga, Dr Skelton is a specialist physician and endocrinologist.

“The one specialty is vast covering every aspect of the body,” she said indicating with wide arms how much ground the specialisation of a physician covers, “but I love endocrinology as I am able to focus in on the endocrinological system to get to the bottom of very specific issues many people face,” she said holding her fingers together as if to show a pin’s point.

The field of endocrinology is a “very academic field” which has an emphasis on patient history and physical examination as well as studying the blood work, which makes up the bulk of her investigations as an endocrinologist.

Image Credit: Get it Ballito uMhlanga photographer, Taryn van Rensburg

Working in private practice has allowed her the flexibility and time needed to juggle her professional life with being a mother to the three children she shares with her Dutch-born husband.

However, she does admit it is a little lonely compared to her time spent in the state health service. She is excited about soon achieving her dream of a combined clinic.

“I’m very excited about it.  The new rooms will have a specialist in orthopaedics Dr Kevin MacIntyre, Judith Haley who is a podiatrist, an excellent dietitian next door to us, and hopefully a diabetes educator, meaning added convenience, especially for our diabetic patients!”

Image Credit: Get it Ballito uMhlanga photographer, Taryn van Rensburg

Her children, a five-year-old boy and a set of pigeon pair three-year-old twins, has meant she needs to be meticulous about balance in her life.

As a doctor in her particular speciality, a big part of her job is striving to help her patients find balance within their bodies.

“Endocrinology is all about balance,” she explained, “I help patients manage their conditions like diabetes, thyroid illness, menopause and all sorts of hormonal imbalances.”

She finds osteoporosis, thyroid and parathyroid disorders fascinating but she has what she described as a huge interest in diabetes in particular.  Her field also covers pituitary and adrenal disorders, menopause and low testosterone in men.

“It is really a very rewarding field to work in as even a small change can make a big difference in a patient’s life!” she said describing how today diabetic patients who are able to manage their condition can live as healthy a life as anyone. “Education is very important in managing chronic conditions such as those that I most often find myself working with.”

Follow Dr Jo on Facebook or phone for an appointment on 031 492 1470.

  AUTHOR
Eve Morris
Photographer and Feature Writer

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