Yoonjin Moon, V22

School: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine 

Degree: Master's of Science in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine  

Home: Originally from South Korea, I moved to the U.S. with my parents when I was five and have lived in Massachusetts for 11 years. 


Why was Cummings School the right place for you? 

Part of the reason I chose Cummings School is because I have an interest in laboratory animal medicine, and Cummings has a unique dual MS/DVM degree program, for which I was the 2021 Henry L Foster Scholar. Henry Foster is the namesake of the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Cummings School, and the founder of Charles River Laboratories, one of the biggest distributors of rodents in the world. I also chose Tufts because I wanted to stay near my parents.   

What’s the best advice you have for people who aspire to become a veterinarian? 

Veterinary school is a large emotional, physical, mental, and financial commitment. I don’t think it would have been feasible if I wasn’t passionate about the field. Also, having support from the people around you is huge and support systems are not made in a day.  

Something else to think about is your ability and willingness to connect with people. Our patients are not human, but their owners or caretakers are. Sympathy and empathy are important traits to have for many careers, including this one. This job is a lot of talking to people and I loved making those connections with clients over my clinical year. It’s part of the reason why I’m pursuing small animal general practice next year. 

Any valuable lessons learned outside the classroom? 

If I want to provide good care to patients, I recognize that I need to take care of myself first. It’s always best to set boundaries—eat lunch, take breaks, stay hydrated—and a good team will support setting boundaries.  

I have many plants because I like to watch them grow and every plant grows at its own pace. One of my plants has been struggling for more than a year. But recently, it started growing new leaves and making a new flower. That could be symbolic, like you need to build a good foundation in order to thrive in the future. But another thing that I’ve learned from taking care of plants is patience. A lot of chronic diseases are difficult to manage and get tactile results during a short period of time. Sometimes these patients just need time and that can be frustrating for everyone involved. However, it’s important to understand no one can speed up the process. 

Also, I recently started solving Rubik’s Cube. I try to do it once a day. It’s a fun activity that probably takes less than five minutes, but it resets my brain.  

Complete the following sentence: “In 10 years, I will be...” 

The owner of two (or more) very small chihuahuas.  

This profile originally appeared as part of the series “Profiles in Inspiration: Commencement 2022 Spotlights."

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