The will and the skill: Kim Pang '00 lives life her way
Growing up in Singapore, Kim Pang '00 was often discouraged from entering the veterinary profession. Veterinary medicine had a small market due to the size of the island and the human-animal bond was not appreciated. Undeterred, Kim focused on a future that she says comes most naturally: taking care of sick animals.
Today, she works in a small animal practice in California where variety is the only "typical" part of her day. As a general practitioner, Kim is called upon to perform everything from examining puppies to splenectomies. Kim is also certified in veterinary acupuncture which she integrates into Western medicine. With an increasing list of patients, she is optimistic that more animals will enjoy the same benefits that people in Eastern cultures have enjoyed for centuries.
"Acupuncture is not considered alternative medicine in Singapore." said Kim. "This branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine is part of the Chinese culture, especially among members of the older generation. People in northern California seem to be more open to holistic medicine and more people in my area [Orange County] are considering acupuncture as a viable option."
Kim estimates about thirty percent of her caseload are acupuncture cases. Using this ancient art, she helps her patients resolve the imbalance in their bodies. From a Western standpoint, acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and stimulates the body to produce endorphins that help with pain relief. The technique is most often used for patients with arthritis and disc disease, but she has seen it used successfully to manage renal disease and other endocrine disorders.
Taking a cue from the principles of acupuncture, Kim tries to balance her life by working part-time at her current practice. She is the mother of two young boys and says that being able to balance her veterinary career and family life is her definition of "success" in her life.
"The decision to go part-time was not easy," said Kim. "I saw fewer patients and watched my regular clients choose the other associates over me. I finally told myself that I can always gain new clients but I can never get my children's early years back. I'm a mom and a veterinarian. I probably don't have the best of both worlds, but I come pretty close."