Maria Paz Buman Ruiz Diaz, DVM '22

M.S. 2023, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences;

Hometown: Asunción, Paraguay & Washington, D.C.

My undergraduate was in…

Animal Sciences at the University of Maryland

Best part of being a VMCVM student…

Meeting my best friends and getting to see them every day for four years.

The moment I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian/public health professional was…

I always liked animals but I was actually a pretty terrible student in high school. The only classes I liked were the language and science classes I took (and the only ones I wasn’t near failing). That led me to consider science careers, and becoming a vet was the only option I had back home at the time to mix science and animals. It was a pretty natural progression.

My hidden talent…

I’ve taught myself how to use a lot of power tools and hope to take some woodworking classes in the future.

A person who has inspired me...

Oooh there are so many.

My mother above all others. She taught me about resiliency and the value in working hard. I hope to become a fraction of the professional and woman she was.

My friends from vet school inspire me every day. I went through the DVM program here with them and I know just how hard they worked everyday for years. I’ve also seen them face new challenges as new doctors, and watching them conquer these challenges and learn to fight for themselves is awe-inspiring.

Biggest misconception about being a veterinarian/public health student…

  1. “It’s easy to learn about cats and dogs all day.” We learn a lot about science, agriculture, policies, ethics, and laws throughout our DVM education. It’s hard work, and there are many things to keep in mind, especially as you get to clinics and are dealing with real patients and clients.
  2. “Grad school is boring.” I have loved continuing my education at Virginia Tech and seeing another side of higher education. Graduate school has allowed me so much flexibility in the things I want to learn and explore, and my advisor has been so encouraging of it all. I’m really glad I did it.

If I had a superpower, it would be...

To never fall asleep in lecture!

My no-fail, go-for-it motivational song...

“Start A Riot” by Duckwrth and Shaboozey

The course project/study you're most excited about...

Finishing my thesis and going on to residency. I’ve been working on this project for a while and I learned a lot from it. Hopefully some skills I can take into residency next year too!

What excites me the most about the future of my industry....

The ever-increasing quality and accessibility of health care to animals.

I began my veterinary education in Paraguay and we did not have access to a quarter of the things I learned about in the DVM program here. To me, having access to an ICU is astonishing, let alone all of the advanced diagnostics that are available. I love telling people back home about it and sharing with them the possibilities of animal medicine.

Favorite way to end the day...

Walking my dog, Luna, and making something simple and tasty for dinner with my partner.

Top of my bucket list...

There are so many things I want to do!

  • I really want to visit the Christmas markets in Germany one day (hopefully soon!)
  • To design and build my own furniture.
  • To have a Great British Bake Off style competition with my friends and make awesome food.

How many pets do you have? Types?

Luna is my 10-year-old German Shepherd/Weimaraner mixed dog.

Molly is my partner’s 15-year-old Pit mix.

Anything else to add?

“It will all be okay.”


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing