Dr. Min Jung Kim, DVM, Spotlight
As Dr. Min Jung Kim, DVM, knows, inspiration can come from unexpected places. We caught up with Dr. Kim to talk about her sources of inspiration, why teleportation is the coolest superpower, and how she went from a career as an English teacher to a veterinarian at Banfield.
How did you get started in the veterinary industry?
My interest in animals started early, like many other vets, but I was discouraged by my parents, who didn’t think it was a good fit. My other interests included learning about different cultures from around the world. I started learning English and becoming an English teacher in Korea, a highly sought-after job, when I met my now-husband. He was from the United States, and after getting married, we decided to move to the US. I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore and was considering becoming a librarian until after I bought a lottery ticket out of curiosity. I started daydreaming about what I would do if I won that lottery. I wouldn’t have to work for the rest of my life! I researched how past lottery winners used their money and learned that many became miserable due to various factors—including quitting their job!
That’s when I realized I should find a job that I wouldn’t quit, even if I win the lottery, and started dreaming again about becoming a veterinarian. Because my major was English education with a minor in German, I had to start with basic college-level science. I wasn’t sure at first. I asked my husband, “What if I am bad at it?” And he said, “Then you don’t do it, but I think you should try.” So I tried.
What or who inspires you the most?
I have so many sources of inspiration. Currently, I am trying to learn from my dog, a 14-year-old corgi named Apple. She is just happy to spend time with me all the time. I want to see life in a less complicated way like her. A few things bother Apple, like vacuum cleaners and pedicures, but she gets over that fast and doesn’t hold a grudge. She is an affectionate, loving, and smart little girl who brings joy and love to our lives. I wish I could be more like my dog.
What advice to have for those just starting their career in the veterinary industry?
I am still new to veterinary medicine myself, but I would say give everyone a fair benefit of the doubt and learn to love yourself. Our initial reaction to a negative experience could be very defensive. Still, we can begin to understand and forgive more when we have the capacity and love to think in others’ shoes. At the same time, we all deserve so much love and respect. I am always surrounded by a deeply empathetic, intelligent, and passionate staff. Sometimes we forget how important and awesome people we are.
What do you like about the culture at Banfield?
I like that Banfield welcomes everyone. We have a safe workspace where everyone feels respected.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation is the greatest superpower! I could travel anywhere, anytime. Even better, if I can travel with another person by holding their hand. That would be a lot of fun, too.