Meet the NorthStar VETS team: Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

Dr. Jennifer Kim is a member of the Veterinary Oncology team at NorthStar VETS. In this blog post and video below, she talks about how she got into veterinary medicine, what veterinary oncology is about, and the words from a client that keep her going.

How Dr. Kim got into veterinary medicine
We caught up with Dr. Kim, who was checking up on a patient. Dr. Kim was originally pre-med with a desire to practice medicine on humans, but she fell in love with veterinary medicine and now specializes in oncology. “Human medicine, for some reason, didn’t work for me. That’s when my best friend in college said, ‘Hey, why don’t you become a veterinarian?’ and I thought that was perfect. So I started working in a veterinary clinic and got my first cat, and it just went from there.”

“I went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and then I took a couple years off from school to work at NIH (National Institute of Health) and the National Cancer Institute doing cancer research. That’s where my interest in cancer came in. After that, I applied to PhD programs and veterinary schools and I ended up going to Tufts. And then I did a rotating internship at AMC in Manhattan followed by an Oncology internship at Cornell. I didn’t match for residency, so I came to NorthStar VETS eleven years ago as an emergency doctor, then got offered an oncology residency at Michigan State.”

What veterinary oncology is all about
Dr. Kim works with oncology patients, treating various cancers to extend and improve a pet’s quality of life with their families. “I’m a veterinary oncologist, which means I treat only patients with cancer. A lot of people think that’s sad, and yes, there are sad aspects to my job, but what they don’t realize is that I get to have these incredible bonds with my patients and clients. A lot of my patients live a lot longer than people would ever expect with a good quality of life.”

What one client said to Dr. Kim that keeps her going
Dr. Kim is one of more than forty veterinarians at NorthStar VETS who work to provide world class care to you and your pets. “The thing that makes our hospital special is the team we have here. There is not a single person you will meet who doesn’t honestly love what they do, and you feel it. You can walk into other hospitals, and it feels cold, but you will never feel cold here, you will always feel like everyone cares.”

Working in Oncology has its tough days, but Dr. Kim enjoys the chance to help give pets and their families a longer and better quality of life. “I received this beautiful email from a client that essentially read, ‘Thank you so much!’ Even though her pet died, it was this beautiful way of saying, ‘Hey, I know that you’re sad, too, but you gave my dog another two years of life that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.’ It’s really the clients and their support, and of course my coworkers, I couldn’t live without my coworkers.”

Learn more about the Oncology service at NorthStar VETS

Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Dr. Kim grew up in New York and received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania. After two years at the National Cancer Institute performing cancer genetic research, she attended veterinary school at Tufts University. Dr. Kim completed a rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, New York, and an oncology internship at Cornell University. She began at NorthStar VETS as an emergency clinician in 2005 and returned in 2010 to treat oncology patients after completing her residency in medical oncology at Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine. In her free time, Dr. Kim is an avid foodie and knitter.

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