Change Is Good

We got to sit down with Dr. Kristin Junkas, Chief of Staff at Wright Animal Hospital in Des Plaines, IL, to talk Life at VetCor, her pets, hidden talents and more.

Did you always know you wanted to be a veterinarian?
Dr. Junkas with canine friendsI have always had an interest in science and a love of nature and animals, but I didn’t initially know that I wanted to be a vet. I began as a Chemistry/Biology double major in college and spent my sophomore year summer taking Physics. I had to find a job and ended up working with a small town veterinarian over that summer and it changed my whole career aspiration. I fell in love with everything that he was doing and decided to pursue veterinary medicine. I applied to multiple schools and was accepted to Iowa State – and the rest is history!

What species of animals do you treat?
At Wright Animal Hospital, we see primarily cats and dogs, but have recently added an associate that has an interest in exotics. I’m looking forward to expanding this area within the practice! Changes are a fact of life in any medical field, and part of what keeps the job exciting and challenging. You can never get completely comfortable in a routine because we learn more about the biology of taking care of animals all the time.

How did you end up working for VetCor?
I was an associate veterinarian at the practice for eight years before the transition to VetCor, so I got to see all of those great changes as well. VetCor has provided me with the support to not only grow the practice and the overall environment for our clients and staff, but also to grow my own career. I became Chief of Staff two years later!

What do you like about working at VetCor?
I like that VetCor allows each hospital to evolve with their own identity and encourages new ideas. They also provide benefits to all staff that were not available previously, and offer additional resources to help grow the practice, including marketing support, practice management, relief staff and recruiting. I have enjoyed getting to know fellow colleagues at other practices as well.

What fulfills you most about your career?
I find something to challenge me each day, and the pets are treated as important family members that deserve equal medical care. I love interacting with clients and their pets, the challenge of complex cancer treatments and everything in between. It also helps to have surrounded myself with a great team of coworkers that have similar values and passion for the profession as well!

dr-junkas-familyWhat sort of pets do you have?
Myself, I’ve had a variety of different pets over the years (like most veterinarians). Currently, I have a 14-year-old Siamese cat named Beni Hana. We also have large aquariums where we keep fresh water cichlids and other species. 

What do you do in your spare time?
My three amazing kids keep me busy when I’m at home. My sons are both involved in track and my daughter is a competitive dancer, so I spend hours attending practices or events that they have going on. When I finally get some time to myself, I love to go to Zumba classes or relax and watch movies with my husband.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have been obsessed with knitting and crochet and always have a project going. I take it everywhere I go, and it relieves the stress of the day.

Any other interesting facts people might not know about you?
My father was a professor of classical language who also participated in archeology. I was lucky to travel to his dig in Israel and lived along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea when I was 12 years old.