petcare is everything he hoped it would be
Dr. Mina Abdelmalek received his BA in Veterinary Medicine at Zagazig University, in Egypt, and is an Associate Veterinarian at Banfield in Roseville, Michigan. We connected with him recently to discuss his passion for helping pets and the people who love them, his extensive travels, and what he might be doing for work had he taken a different path.
What kind of practice do you have and what inspired you to become a veterinarian?
I was raised in Egypt. Back home we didn’t have a lot of pets and the animals were mostly horses and cows. My passion was for small animals, especially dogs and cats. That was the main reason I moved to the US, because here most of our pets are dogs and cats. I have my own dog, whose name is Sherlock. I named him that because I thought he would be an amazingly smart dog, but he’s just an average, normal dog.
How long have you been doing this work and has it been what you hoped it would be?
I worked as an assistant for two years and I’ve been a vet for another two. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored with the job. I love it. It’s an amazing thing to help pets that cannot help themselves and relieve them of pain. And I’m really interested in one aspect of veterinary medicine – quality of life.
How do you discuss quality of life issues with your clients?
We go through the options of what we can do and I like to say, “I’ll tell you the facts even if it might hurt a little bit.” When working with puppies, vaccination and preventive care is what helps lead to a happy, good life; but when pets are 15 or 16 and there aren’t many options, you are not only managing the dog for pain or sickness, you’re helping the client too. It’s not an easy thing to go through so it’s one of the hardest aspects of the work, but it’s one that I love to help with.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
I love to work out before going to the hospital, and I have two-year-old twins who are keeping us busy. We also love to travel. Since coming to the States six years ago we’ve taken about 80 flights and we’ve been to 20-22 states.
Is there a different career you might have had if you hadn’t become a veterinarian?
I was interested in becoming a lawyer and even studied law in Egypt after vet school. But when I came here I was shocked to learn that the laws were so much more extensive than in Egypt. And I love what I do, so it all worked out great.