Featured Member of the Month (Sep): Joseph Jenkins

The AVLS is comprised of many passionate AVLS members who are dedicated to committing their time and knowledge to aid the vein and lymphatic field. In this post, the AVLS took the time to interview Dr. Joseph Jenkins, the AVLS Featured Member of the Month. Dr. Joseph Jenkins  lives and practices in Dubuque, IA. He also serves as the Chair of the AVLS Operations Committee.

How long have you been a member of the AVLS and why did you decide to join?

I became a member of the American Vein & Lymphatic Society in 2011. I opened my own vein practice after being in a General Surgery practice for 14 years. I saw no need to join a vein society prior to the move to my own practice. There was limited membership funding available and I needed to be a member of other organizations that advanced my general surgery career. With the move to my vein practice I realized I needed to be a member within a vein society that would help with my new career choice.

When you think about the field of vein care, what are some of the biggest changes you have seen over the years? (Positive and Negative)

The evolution of the endovenous procedures to treat superficial venous reflux and varicose veins truly made huge advancement in vein care. Prior to beginning offering endovenous ablation treatments in early 2005, I would carry out the old great saphenous vein stripping operation. I hated the procedure. It was tedious and for me not fun procedure. Yes, it took care of the varicose veins and venous reflux within the great saphenous vein, but patients were miserable for 6 to 8 weeks following the operation. I would perform 3 to 4 vein stripping operations a year. With the start of the endovenous procedures, I quickly noticed significant benefit for the patients. They were able to return to normal function within 24 hours post procedure. They were singing praises about procedure. Their legs felt lighter and they had a spring back in their step.

The introduction of catheter based pelvic vein and deep vein therapies for the individuals suffering from post-thrombotic syndrome issues was another huge advancement in vein care. This also includes similar therapies for patients with pelvic congestion.

As for negative issues:

  1. Payment from insurance providers has declined.
  2. With the ease of treatments there has been an explosion of providers offering the therapy. Venous reflux and varicose vein treatments involve more than just placing a catheter up a straight vein. Not all providers understand the depth of venous disease and some of them are not listening to the patient.

In what ways has the AVLS helped you as a practicing physician?

The AVLS has given me a voice in the Vein Field. I am a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. The organization has been around for a long time. My opinion is that one only has a voice with that organization based on who you trained under and where. One needs to be active in an academic center, publishing on a consistent basis. The voice of the solo provider or small private practice is not heard from. AVLS has allowed me to voice concerns of a small vein practice. One just needs to take on an active role.

The AVLS provided me with a priceless opportunity with the Leadership Academy. I was one of the first graduates of the year long educational experience, (2014 through 2015). I discovered who I really was. I had leadership qualities I never realized were within me. I use the knowledge gained on a daily basis, in personal as well as professional basis.

Any advice for physicians new to the field?  What resources does the AVLS provide that would benefit them?

The Clinical Congress, educational courses at various sites across the country and the Online CME are different venues for learning. That said, the best advice is to become involved. Join a committee and be active. You will never regret it. The networking that one can develop with the leaders of the vein world is well worth the small amount of time one has to invest. Don’t sit back and complain, your opinion matters.

Interested in becoming the next Featured Member of the Month? Send your contact information to, [email protected]

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