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Electives, Electives Everywhere. Which Ones Are YOU Going To Take

There comes a time in every person's life when it is time to figure out your path in life and just stick to it.  … Right?  Well, sometimes.  I am the kind of person who has a general idea of what I want to be when I grow up, and then I play the rest by ear.  I have a goal - "Plan A" - I want to become a board certified zoo veterinarian and then later go into a private practice or an academic setting.  But if circumstances change, I have a "Plan B," "Plan C," and "Plan Z."  It's just a good idea.

But right now, I get to play and explore the many avenues of veterinary medicine.  I am a third year student; I finally reached the point where I can choose my electives.  As third year students, we are required to take a minimum of 14 hours of electives, spread throughout the year.  Most electives are worth one or two hours of course credit.  I just couldn't help myself, so I signed up for 18 hours.  Why not?  This is my chance to discover and learn as much as possible.

For example, right now I am taking Food Animal Medicine, Exotic Animal Medicine, and Physical Medicine / Rehabilitation / Pain Management.  In four weeks, I will be taking Camelids (llamas and alpacas) and Equine Handling, and four weeks after that I will be taking Feline Medicine, Reptile Medicine, and Advanced Anesthesia.  Not to mention the Avian, Emergency, Exotic Hoofstock, Cardiology, Dentistry, and Small Ruminant Medicine classes I took last semester.  In just one year, I will have learned something about every major species I am interested in.

Of course, all of this is on top of our core curriculum which consists of Small Animal Medicine, Radiology, Practice Management, and Clinical Correlates.

There are almost 50 different elective choices just waiting for eager third year students.  By fitting my schedule to my interests, I can prepare myself for the future.  Remember "Plan A?"