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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.

veterinarian instills compassion in kids

...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. 

veterinarian marathon kids

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).

Read more from in the wild

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Emily said:

Love this. What an inspiring human. And she runs half marathons!?!? #superhero

Rosa Maria Nebel said:

Amazing mother and doctor. She is an inspiration for many.

Irma Murillo said:

Eugenia es un orgullo para todos los que la amamos y la vimos crecer.

Maru kent said:

Eugenia is indeed an Extraordinary Woman, an Extraordinary Morher and Human being, with discipline and incredible energy she accomplishes all the goals she sets for herself . The devotion and love to her kids and family is amazing .

Amy Mugg said:

There should be a special life award if you make raising 3 boys and being a doc look as effortless as Dr. Nieto does!

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