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For some odd reason, the second year veterinary curriculum reintroduces the midterm concept.  I can't remember the last time I heard a test called a midterm.  It just seems so much more…. foreboding and cumbersome.  To make it more fun, our three midterms/ exams/ whatever you want to call them, are back-to-back this week.  Just like final exams, except we still have to go to class and lab every day.  So, tonight as I sit right in the middle of my study marathon (yes, believe it or not, I studied all day Saturday and Sunday), I decided I needed to look at the bright side of midterms.  Honestly, as I attempted to study three different subjects at once today, the bright side wasn't too hard to find.

It's integration.  It's the culmination of years of education that have led us to the point where all knowledge finally starts to mesh.  All day I had those "ooooo that's why I had to learn that" moments where immunology, physiology, and anatomy (first year veterinary classes) paid off and aided in my understanding of pathology, nutrition, and parasitology.  It's an awesome feeling to finally see the big picture.  Sometimes we get so burdened down with the minute details that we fail to appreciate the gorgeous image right in front of us.  While studying and trying to remember every detail for the impending exam, you forget to take a step back and see how this information fits into your future career.  You will constantly be integrating information and pulling knowledge from different subjects as you treat cases.  You will never have the luxury of solving a case solely based on what you learned in one single class.  Might as well start developing this skill now.One of the coolest things I took away from my summer of research was an appreciation for learning solely for the sake of learning- no exam/ midterm involved.  I have tried to apply that curiosity to my studies this year and have found myself much less stressed when I simply study because I want to understand.  Of course grades are important, especially if you want an internship or residency after vet school.  However, grades shouldn't steal away the joy of learning.

On another note, I received a letter today containing two sizable checks to start up a One Health Vector Borne Disease initiative!  Several students and I put together an application to receive funds from the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association to throw an event that will educate the public about vector borne diseases.  We have awesome ideas that will hopefully leave a lasting impact and I am ecstatic that we got full funding to go ahead.  It would be awesome if we could recruit some medical and public health students to truly make this a One Health initiative.  I will definitely keep yall posted as our plans develop.

Gig Em and God Bless