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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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Monthly Archives:

Time for a Break

Time for a Break Well, final exams are finished!!!!  It's weird, but this semester just flew by.  One minute it was August and I was excited about clinics and performing my first surgery, and the next minute I was studying for finals and trying to remember an entire semester's worth of large animal medicine and radiology, with a smattering of small animal medicine for good measure.  All-in-all, I think it went pretty well. Now it's time for a "break."  By break, I mean going home for the next month to try and work as many hours as I can and see my family and friends in between shifts.  It's a break from school and a foray back into the real world.  I will be at a local emergency clinic working mostly the overnight shifts, weekends, and holidays. I hope to learn a lot from my experiences in the EC - working there will allow me to see cases that are more unusual and time-intensive and it will also allow me to practice my technician s... (Read More)

The Large Animal Medicine Twelve Days of Christmas

The Large Animal Medicine Twelve Days of Christmas The semester's finally drawing to a close, but there's a few pesky exams standing in between us and a long-awaited break.  Tonight's objective: the final review (ok, let's be honest - last minute cramming) for tomorrow's large animal medicine final. We've spent the past semester covering topics ranging from neurology, to lameness, respiratory disease, dentistry, gastrointestinal disease, ophthalmology, dermatology, and more… all neatly summarized into the four-inch-thick stack of notes in front of me.   You know the 'Twas the night before Christmas' poem, where the children fell asleep dreaming of sugarplums and St. Nick?  Last night's dreams involved Ortolani signs and the pros and cons of various fracture repair options.  Not that I'm complaining - I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.  Some of the best memories I'll take from vet school will be the late-night caffeine-fueled study sessions and crazy mnemonic... (Read More)

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Looking Back, Looking Ahead Today is our first day back to school after Thanksgiving. I think it is definitely safe to say that we were all thankful for Thanksgiving break this year. While short, it was great to get the chance to go home and visit with friends and family for a few days. We are lucky that this year we have a week between our Thanksgiving break and finals. My first year of veterinary school, finals were scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving. That meant that I spent the holiday in College Station studying. This year, I left my books behind for a few days of relaxation, ridiculous amounts of overeating, and some much needed time away from school. I have learned over the past three years, that by taking some time to remind myself of why I want to be a veterinarian and how important it is to me, I am much more productive and determined in my school work when I return to it. It is easy to be bogged down with the details, specifics, obligations, meetings, and ... (Read More)

Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Life

Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Life Exciting times are upon us in Aggieland! Texas A&M beat Nebraska, Harry and the gang are casting spells again, and 4th year veterinary students are currently taking the most important test of their veterinary lives - the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Good luck, 4VMs! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Class of 2013 will have its 2nd annual Thanksgiving Feast at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Students volunteer to bring delicious homemade sides, mouth-watering store-bought cranberry jelly, a healthy assortment of pies, cheesecake, turkey, and ham to share with fellow students and faculty while we enjoy each other's company and fellowship. I love my class! Furthermore, future veterinary students are in the process of interviewing for the chance of a lifetime. I can still recall how indescribably anxious I was walking up the stairs in the Medical Sciences Library as I nervously mumbled, "Hi, uh, I'm here fo... (Read More)

Steer vs. Joe, Who Wins….?

Steer vs. Joe, Who Wins….? One of the greatest aspects of veterinary school is the plethora of organizations.  There are clubs for students interested in horses, internal medicine, small ruminants (vet speak for sheep and deer), shelter animals, holistic techniques (i.e. chiropractics and acupuncture), and chickens.  Okay, maybe that last one is more of a fun, get together group and less about veterinary medicine.  At Texas A&M, we offer somewhere in the area of 30 veterinary student organizations, and we are adding new ones every year.  Just this year we have added surgery, dentistry, and feline clubs.  Which leads me to ask, why are we just now getting clubs for surgery and cats?  Were cat spays and neuters not important until now?  They obviously were, but I digress. Additionally, some of the best learning experiences come from extra-curricular (university language for outside the class room) activities.  Since starting scho... (Read More)

In most people’s minds, weekends are a time to relax and unwind from hectic weekdays. Apparently, we vet students do not share the same perspective…

In most people’s minds, weekends are a time to relax and unwind from hectic weekdays. Apparently, we vet students do not share the same perspective… Every morning and evening this week, I'm in charge of the care of our surgery patient. Consequently, my weekend started at 6:00 am Saturday morning. I might have been up, but the sun definitely was not. Thank goodness our surgery animal this week is a healthy, spry, little cat that doesn't mind a thorough physical exam (minus the temperature-taking, but honestly, who wouldn't be a little upset about a rectal thermometer?). After finishing the paperwork for our kitty, I headed to the large animal hospital for an equine castration clinic that one of our veterinary student chapters organized for the community. At this clinic, we vet students had the opportunity to handle every aspect of patient care with castrations in the field. We all rotated between anesthetist, surgeon, and assistant surgeon with each horse. I have watched numerous castrations in the past, but getting a chance to perform one was a great experience. We had clinicians and experi... (Read More)

Do Vet Students Have Time to Do Anything?

Do Vet Students Have Time to Do Anything? One of the questions that I commonly get asked as a tour guide is "Do vet students have time to do anything other than study and take tests?"  Well, yes and no.  We are in class from roughly 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, but some lucky students have shorter variations of that schedule.  Then we all go home and study.  This might sound rough, but it's what we need to do to become great veterinarians.  I would say about 90 to 95% of the vet students in this school have dreamed of becoming veterinarians since they were little kids, and all of us have worked hard to get to where we are now.  We have a passion for working with animals and a devotion to helping both animals and their humans.  But as with any "job" it's easy to get overwhelmed.  This is why each and every veterinary student finds a way to let loose and enjoy themselves on a regular basis.  Personally, I have two handsome cats at home to play ... (Read More)

Spaying and Clinic Rotations

Spaying and Clinic Rotations This week is the first of our surgeries for the area animal shelters. Because I have the position of surgeon this week in my group, I have been responsible for the daily care of our patient this week. We have been assigned a beautiful mixed breed female dog to spay tomorrow. My best guess is that she is a German Shepherd and Catahoula mix. We have also guessed that she is between 1.5 and 2 years old. Her kind, playful nature is a true testament to her innate trust of humans. Through all the hardship that she has endured in her life, she still has a positive happy outlook. I am nervous about performing the spay tomorrow. Although I know that I am fully prepared to perform the procedure, I am hopeful that it will go smoothly. I can't wait for her to recover and be ready for her new home. I am hopeful that a family will see the same beauty and caring eyes as I do, and that someone will show her that life can be better than she has ever experienced.... (Read More)

Vet Med Ambassadors Visit with Mascot at Open House

Vet Med Ambassadors Visit with Mascot at Open House Jaime and Sarah, two Vet Med Ambassadors, attended the open house for the new kitchen in the Small Animal Hospital donated by Nestle PURINA PetCare today. They both ran into Reveille, the mascot for Texas A&M University and a patient of the Small Animal Clinic, and her primary caretaker, Cody Guffey. Jaime and Sarah were both amazed at the improvement the small animal kitchen has experienced over the past couple of months as they know the need for proper nutrition is vital in any patient's successful recovery. (Read More)

Bearcats 101

Bearcats 101 Do you know what a bearcat is? Of course you do. I, on the other hand, had absolutely no idea before I went to pathology rounds last week. Allow me to paint a picture for you; pathology rounds consist of six 4th year veterinary students, six DVM clinical residents training to become board certified pathologists, multiple already-board certified pathologists, various instructors and fellow classmates in a big, cold room geared up for a fast-paced Q&A case-study session over the cause and nature of disease - slightly intimidating to say the least. All veterinary students are encouraged to join, and I am currently taking pathology, so I decided I'd go and listen, keep my mouth shut and learn a few things…it would be great! An interesting case comes in and a 4th year student begins her presentation, "A female bearcat came into the hospital this weekend for…" She loses me. Excuse me, did you say Bear Cat? She finishes and presents an abnormally ... (Read More)