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And the new year begins


Third year has started off great so far. It is going to definitely be a drastic change from the first two years of veterinary school. First and second year consisted of a set curriculum of mostly lecture. During third year, we get the opportunity to select our own elective classes, begin a few days of clinical rotations, and perform surgery.

Yesterday, I was anesthetist for my first surgery of the year. It was exciting and absolutely nerve-wracking all at the same time. Being in charge of monitoring and maintaining the life of an animal while surgery is being performed is a huge responsibility.  Surgery requires an enormous amount of preparation, but when you are in the operating room, your patient is under anesthesia, and the surgeon makes the first incision. You are glad that you are prepared. It is important not only to know how to use the equipment and surgical instruments, what to expect during surgery, but also how to respond to circumstances that arise unexpectedly. I am proud to say it was a successful surgery for my group.

Surgery is the class that I am most nervous about. I think I am most nervous about this particular class because it is the skill that I hope to most excel at. It is encouraging to hear the board certified surgeons remind us of how they all started right where we are now, and that their incisions weren't perfect, their suture placement wasn't always perfect, and anesthesia made them just as nervous as I was yesterday. It is exhilarating to know that this is the beginning of a lifelong journey to become the skilled equine surgeon I one day hope to be.

This block I am also taking equine dentistry, colic team, and trauma team.  These electives provide education on the most practical equine skills that I know I will use on a daily basis out in practice. Having electives like these help to remind me of why I love veterinary medicine. In colic team and trauma team, we have "on-call" hours where we are called into the hospital if an emergency comes in. We get to follow the case and learn firsthand how to respond in cases of colic and trauma emergencies. This is experience that until this point in my education, I have only received from traveling and visiting practices on externships. To be able to get school credit hours for doing what I absolutely love to do is fantastic.

While it is hard work, stressful, and even frustrating at times, it is refreshing to be excited about going to school again. We are finally getting a chance to actually do the things we only dreamed of just two years ago.