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Congratulations to the NorthStar VETS Employee of the Month!
Dr. Weinstein is our NorthStar VETS employee of the month. She was nominated for regularly going above and beyond for patient care. Congratulations!
Here is what was said about her.
"Dr. Weinstein meets me with a hardy hello and smile every time I see her no matter whether it's day or night. She is one of the most compassionate individuals I know. She cares for both the clients and the patients, keeping herself up-to-date on the latest and most innovative procedures and treatments in the veterinary field. She never hesitates to do what is best for the patient, even if it is the third emergency surgery she has performed in the wee hours of the night. She stays late to make sure her patients are pain-free and comfortable. Seeing that the nurses are trying their best to keep up, she even cleans the surgery suite in between the surgeries to expedite the process. I am sure she would decline the position, but our new slogan is "Weinstein for President." I nominate Dr. Joy Weinstein for employee of the month. It is an honor and a pleasure working with Dr. Weinstein, she makes me strive to be a better nurse and person. Her knowledge and laugh are contagious, and she is an amazing asset to NorthStar VETS!!!!"
"Dr. Weinstein is always happy, and always asks how others and their pets are doing. She goes above and beyond with every exam with her patients, no matter what! She will not hesitate to see emergencies, or do a quick exam for other doctors. It is said that if you cannot figure out what is wrong with a patient, seek her advice."
A few words with our EOM
When did you join NorthStar VETS?
"I joined NorthStar VETS when VSDS was in the Clarksburg location. I have been a staff surgeon here for 17 years as of this past October."
What attracted you to veterinary medicine?
"When I was two years old, my parents let me pick out my first puppy. We were told all of the pups in the litter were male German Shepherds. Inside the puppy pen were the most rambunctious little guys I ever saw and they were jumping all over me. One of the pups was quiet and sweet. I chose him and named him Duke.
We took Duke to the local veterinary hospital for his new puppy check-up and discovered he was really a female puppy and she was pretty sick with hookworm anemia. We renamed her Duchess and she stayed at the hospital for a while to get a blood transfusion and treatment for parasites. The veterinarian became a hero figure to me because he saved my puppy. He also taught me how to determine whether a puppy was a male or female when I was less than three years old!
My parents became what we now refer to as "backyard breeders" and Duchess bore two litters of puppies. Our veterinarian and his wife came to the house to whelp them and educate my parents on proper care for the newborns. The litters were large and I loved bottle feeding them.
From the time I started interacting with our veterinarian and Duchess became a part of our family, I wanted pursue a veterinary career. We always had a dog throughout my childhood and I looked forward to going to veterinary visits. I tried to take in a few stray cats a couple of times, but my parents always found them locked in our screened-in porch and let them back outdoors. In my excitement to start a veterinary career, I applied to college early and skipped my last year of high school. While in college, I observed at several veterinary hospitals and did volunteer work at an animal shelter near the college. Because I was wary of cats (having only grown up with dogs and was not allowed to have a cat), I asked to work only with the cats at the shelter. I was scratched so many times while moving cats from cage to cage at first, but quickly learned to handle and appreciate them. I got my first kitten, Spooky, from that shelter and kept her in my dorm against all rules. That's when I discovered cats are great pets for people who work long hours, and ever since college, cats have been my only pets.
I started veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania immediately after finishing college. With a strong interest in surgery, I pursued a surgical residency after finishing veterinary school and spent one year in a small animal practice and one year in an emergency practice. I was in the right place at the right time and was able to do a residency at Tufts University and Angell Memorial Animal Hospital without a prior Internship.
I have now been a veterinarian for 37 years and I could not ever picture myself taking another career path in my life. I have always felt this was what I was meant to do because of my early childhood experiences."
What do you love about what you do?
"As a surgeon, I love being able to save a pet's life through surgery or improve a life and get the pet back home to their family. I also love being able to offer more conservative options to owners of pets that have painful conditions that could be treated medically or surgically."
Tell us about your own pets
"My cats make up a very important part of my life. I love the look and personality of the Siamese breed. Morelli is our seal point Siamese cat and thanks to our wonderful Internal Medicine team, he has been doing well as he approaches his 14th birthday in April. The other four cats were rescued as adults. They all have blue eyes and some Siamese heritage. Denny has used more of his 9 lives than any cat I ever met. I took him out of the shelter 1 hour before he would have been euthanized and fostered him through severe trauma and medical issues. He was my only foster cat and as a foster failure he is living a life of cat luxury at our house. He takes a lot of medications and is also a poster child for the great care provided by our Internal Medicine team. JJ is our senior handsome-but-grumpy cat. He was at a shelter after his owner died. Genevieve and Leandra are the beautiful talkative cats of the house. Genevieve and Leandra each had 2 homes before they found their home with us. Our house is designed for their comfort and entertainment. When we had visitors before COVID, people would always be surprised to see the number of cat trees, tunnels, beds and toys all over the house. On my days spent at home, we now have cat play time with supervised interactive toys in the afternoons. For a person who grew up with only dogs as pets, I made a complete switch to cat mom when I was in college. Working long hours, I feel better not worrying about dogs that are waiting at home to go out for a walk."
What would people be surprised to know about you?
"My colleagues all know I enjoy making pottery, scarves, and jewelry, reading mystery, suspense, and romance books, and listening to country music. I am also an extraordinary microwave cook and am always happy to share my recipes."
M. Joy Weinstein, VMD, DACVS
Dr. Weinstein was born and raised in Lakewood, New Jersey, and is a summa cum laude graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983, and completed a three-year residency in small animal surgery at Tufts University/Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in 1988. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Weinstein was an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1990-1994, and staff surgeon at Shrewsbury Animal Hospital for seven years. She joined NorthStar VETS in 2003. Her special interests include lameness evaluation, conservative treatment of orthopedic conditions, orthopedic surgery and surgical oncology. Dr. Weinstein is the longtime president of the Jersey Shore Veterinary Medical Association, and also served as chairperson of the Eastern Veterinary Orthopedic Society.