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A Veterinarian Soothing Soreness with Healing Hands
Lee Soo-hyun, Editor | 승인 2020.04.27 23:36

 

Name
Han Hyun-jung

Occupation
- Veterinarian in the Department of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
- Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine

1. Could you give a brief explanation of what a veterinarian does?

The most basic task is to treat animals at an animal hospital. Other areas include civil servants, quarantine officers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Veterinarians also work for companies that sell animal-related goods or feed.

 

2. What made you dream of becoming a veterinarian?

I have had a puppy since middle school. Since my parents both had jobs, there were usually only me, my sibling, and a puppy at home, and naturally, my attachment to pets became stronger. However, at that time, there were often animals, who died from unknown diseases because of a lack of development in veterinary technology. I felt pity for this reality and went to veterinary school with a desire to work in the medical profession. In my experience, a veterinarian is a very attractive job. The pride of treating and saving animals is a rewarding experience that only veterinarians can feel.

 

3. What is the most important quality of a veterinarian?

Since the entrance scores to get into veterinary school are high, it is a priority to study hard for college. In addition, it is important to keep studying in college, because becoming a veterinarian requires a huge amount of academic knowledge. Veterinary students will 
encounter various kinds of animals, including cattle, pigs, horses, chickens, and wild animals, as well as dogs and cats. Sometimes they can study anatomy and work in a laboratory. Therefore, before becoming a veterinarian in earnest, they should identify their interests and tendencies, and find their aptitude.

 

4. When is the most memorable moment, working as a veterinarian?

There are both the hardest and rewarding moments. Animal patients, who come to the Department of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, are often in a serious condition. Even veterinarians cannot save all animals. There is little if anything that can be done for animals, when they miss the timing of treatment or when the disease has advanced to the end. In this situation, the caregivers feel very grieved. On the other hand, when the animals are given first aid, and their health improves, their caregivers are relieved and they calm down. In some cases, patients with severe diseases have a high mortality rate, but with veterinarian care, their condition becomes better quickly.

 

5. Is there anything you want to say to the animal owners?

I think most owners who keep pets are admirable, because of the various situations that are required to raise animals. They should be able to afford to look after them financially. Moreover, health insurance coverage for animals is still weak, so the cost of medical care is high. Animals are family, not only when they are young and pretty, but also they can be comforting for more than a decade. Therefore, owners must bear a sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of the animal. On a positive note, the number of people who get rid of sick decreased. These days, they are more willing to treat their pets as a family and take care of them until the end. I feel that this culture is constantly improving.

 

6. Is there anything you want to say to students who want to be a veterinarian?

Veterinarians should have affection for animals, looking at them as a living creature and as part of a family. However, they should also refrain from treating animals only with affection. It should be the basis of any treatment, but emotional bias may lead to learning with a sore heart. They may encounter difficulties even in becoming a veterinarian. Therefore, it is necessary to have a cool-headed view and a positive gaze to make a clear judgment.

 

7. What is your goal from now on?

One of the most common treatments in the emergency room are blood transfusions. 
However, there is often a shortage in supply. Recently, Konkuk University Veterinary 
Medical Teaching Hospital did a campaign to promote the public interest of blood 
donation with a mobile blood donation center. I hope a culture of blood donation is 
gradually established. Konkuk University is the first university to designate the Department of Emergency Medicine as an official major. Therefore, I have a sense of mission in playing a leading role, and will lead KU to become the center of emergency and critical care for animals and help develop it further in the future. 

Lee Soo-hyun, Editor  sylvie8@konkuk.ac.kr

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