this doc is a real-life animal whisperer
Like the other extraordinary women featured on In the Wild, Dr. Eugenia Nieto is a doctor. She wears scrubs (Fabled, of course), carries a stethoscope, and has a knack for saving lives. But this LA-based mother-of-three is no ordinary doc. Her patients are furry, feathery and scaly. Dr. Nieto is a veterinarian who works at an emergency and critical care facility for animals. And when she’s not running after her patients, she’s running a household, or literally, just running. Keep reading to see what keeps her on the move.
Tell us about a time you felt really proud of yourself.
I felt a lot of pride recently when my eldest son (now six years old) said, “When I grow up I want to be a marine biologist that studies deep sea creatures.” This was a huge win for me as a mom (and a vet!) — it made me realize how all this time I'd been modeling compassion and curiosity for my kids, and it really made a difference by inspiring the same in them.
...it made me realize how all this time I'd been modeling compassion and curiosity for my kids, and it really made a difference by inspiring the same in them.
What's something about you that might surprise others?
A little known fact about me is that I have a degree in physical anthropology. Before I decided to go into veterinary medicine I actually wanted to be a physical anthropologist. I worked for an archaeology firm for a year after finishing undergrad — my field work involved heading out into the California or Arizona deserts, surveying the land for artifacts and then analyzing and cataloging what I found. It was a ton of fun!
What’s your biggest insecurity or fear, and how do you manage it?
My biggest fear is that I don't spend enough one-on-one time with my kids. Working part-time allows me to be very involved in their lives, but I'm usually juggling a 21-month-old, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, so I often can’t dedicate myself completely to each one individually. I do my best by volunteering at their schools, and also by squeezing in as much play time as I can with each of them...without letting the house fall apart!
How do you recharge outside of work?
I mainly de-stress by running. I love running, but it’s not exactly alone time. I have three kids so I'm usually running around my neighborhood with at least one or two kids in the stroller! I usually blast music for myself and them. And if I'm lucky I get to squeeze in a half-marathon here and there, too.
I have three kids so I'm usually running around my neighborhood with at least one or two kids in the stroller!
From chimps to children, this former archaeological digger/current animal whisperer/stroller-wielding jogger's life is beyond wild, and an inspiration to docs and moms everywhere. Have a friend or colleague in healthcare wondering how to juggle it all? Please share this post with them!
We love to hear about other healthcare professionals slaying the whole work-life balance thing. If you know someone who can teach us a thing or two, email us their details (with their permission, of course).
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