I Work With Animals! Horse Acupuncturist Eases Pain, Boosts Movement
Wendy LaRue Kang
What animal lover hasn't daydreamed about ditching their desk job and applying for a job at the zoo? Or at a doggy daycare? Or tracking gorillas in Africa? We sure have, but since most of us may never actually get to work with the animals we love, we thought we'd introduce you to a few people who do.
Name: Gene Koo Kang
Job Title: Veterinarian and Acupuncturist, River Forks Mobile Veterinary Service of Roseburg, Ore.
What made you want to work with animals and what drew you to acupuncture as a specialty?
After a few career choices that didn't seem to be where my heart was, mostly involving biology, my wife, Wendy, read me the stories of James Herriot. They are about life as a country vet in 1930s northern England. They moved my spirit and were filled with disgusting details of pushing a cow uterus back in and getting covered with feces while shirtless. I was hooked.
In vet school, one of my instructors, Narda Robinson, director of the Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine at Colorado State University, taught about the modern research going on around the ancient practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture is moving into the realm of clinically proven "real" medicine. Scientists are learning how acupuncture physically affects animals and humans by using functional MRI and neurological anatomy and physiology and biochemistry. I had to be part of that.