Dr. Tina Welker
Patterson Primary Care
There is something irreplaceable about the acquired knowledge and wisdom that come from experience. Though Dr. Tina Welker is one of Patterson Primary Care’s newest providers, having just transitioned to Grand Junction from Albuquerque, New Mexico in October, she comes to the Grand Valley with over thirty years of experience and a wealth of expertise under her belt.
Dr. Welker reflects on the path that led her into family practice. While she always loved science, she toyed with career options as diverse as veterinary science, pharmacology, and OB/GYN until finally landing on family medicine because she enjoyed the variety of care. “I like that with a family practice you see all age groups: birth to death, babies to grannies.” Even after thirty years in practice, the challenge hasn’t worn off. “Every week I see something I’ve never seen before. It’s like a puzzle you have to figure out all of the time.”
Wisdom flows freely from this seasoned physician. As she talks about the complexity of the human body, which responds so differently from patient to patient, she shares, “When I started med school I thought, ‘It’s going to be like a cookbook. You just follow the recipe and you’ll make somebody better.’ Well, you realize it’s not like that. It’s an art and it’s going to change. You’ve just got to be flexible.”
Patterson Primary Care celebrated its one-year anniversary in January and continues to add new providers, including Dr. Welker. As part of SCL Health St. Mary’s medical group, the team is meeting a huge need in the area by providing primary care physicians to those who have been under-serviced for some time. “It’s nice to have a home base for patients,” Dr. Welker comments, “so they don’t have to guess what specialists they need.”
Up until now, Patterson Primary Care has been housed in the old dialysis center across from St. Mary’s hospital. It has been renovated but is still a tight space for the growing practice. By August of 2021 Patterson Primary Care has plans to inhabit a beautiful new building and hopes by the fall to offer a total of twelve providers, including two new doctors who are just finishing up their residencies.
While exemplifying genuine humility as a lifelong learner, Dr. Welker is also confident about her areas of specialization such as dermatology and women’s health. When it comes to women’s needs, she has plenty of experience doing endometrial biopsies, pap smears, physicals, and birth control or hormone consultations. She enjoys discussing natural lifestyle changes and alternative treatments for women before recommending hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Welker loves the versatility of family practice while also being able to focus on her own strengths and interests.
One such uniqueness that sets Dr. Welker apart is her knowledge of trigger points. This technique can be helpful in dealing with tight or kinked muscles, headaches, and even the kind of pain that sends patients to the ER. Once “all the bad stuff has been ruled out,” trigger points or injections of lidocaine into the muscle can “knock the pain down a bit and reassure the patient” the source of the pain is simply muscular. Coupled with movement, massage, stretching and ongoing exercise this therapy is especially effective.
Dr. Welker moved to Grand Junction to be near her daughter’s family, which includes several of her six grandchildren. In her few months here, Dr. Welker and her husband have already hiked Riggs Hill, Devil’s Canyon, and Dinosaur Hill and are looking forward to riding their tandem bike along the area’s riverfront trail this spring. It seems they have landed in a place where they will fit right in and thrive. “I’m happy to be here. I really appreciate the people and the beauty of the area,” Dr. Welker shares.
Patterson Primary Care is accepting new patients. To learn more and connect with a primary care provider, call their office directly at 970.298.6601.