Q&A with Medical Secretary Denise Welsch

photo of Denise Welsch and husband
Denise Welsch with husband Howard on a visit to the Grand Canyon.

What is your current title and how long have you been with Otolaryngology?

My current title is Medical Secretary III, and I have been with the department since July, 2003. I started at Washington University in March, 1988, and I worked in Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, and Medical Oncology prior to coming here.

In the early 1980’s, I had a friend who worked at WashU in the Renal Division. I occasionally tagged along to the university with her on weekends, and I was very impressed with the size and number of departments that provide care to so many patients. I wanted to become a part of it. From that point on, I strived to get in the door.

I currently have the pleasure of assisting a number of our doctors: Judy Lieu, MD, Keiko Hirose, MD, Maithilee Menezes, MD, and Allison Ogden, MD.

Welsch (right) and twin sister Laura.

What do you like most about your work here?

I most like working with our physicians and coworkers as they provide great care to our patients. I have always said that we have two families in life: one is our home family and the other is our work family. With both families, we may bump heads once in a while, but the important thing is to always get our differences successfully resolved.

Is there a special something at the top of your bucket list, and why?

I would like to take a trip to California to see the giant sequoias! I love nature and the outdoors. My husband and I have taken trips to the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. Seeing the sequoias would be amazing. It’s hard to believe God created such gigantic trees! The force of nature is really something to behold.

What is your favorite indulgence?

I have a terrible weakness for sweets. Chocolate of any kind is my biggest weakness.

photo of Welsch's family
Welsch (back row, far left) with her parents and siblings.

What spare time activity brings you the most joy?

Spending time with my family, working in my flower garden and daily walks outside.

Why is family particularly important to you?

I have a wonderful husband Howard, three grown stepchildren, and 13 beautiful grandkids! I grew up locally, in a family with 15 kids – you heard me right, I have four brothers and ten sisters! I have an identical twin sister Laura, and my mother (Grandma Mary) now has a total of 106 grandchildren. The family celebrates the major holidays each year, but it has been very hard to get them all together in recent years. Most of us do try to attend the annual July 4th family BBQ and reunion. It is quite an event.