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Excitement of Clinics

When I was a first year veterinary student, only two short years ago, I remember being so intimidated by the large and small animal teaching hospitals. I would occasionally have a class lab there, or I would take my own pets in to see the vet, and every time, I felt like there was no way I would ever know my way around or feel like I belonged. All of the fourth year students would be busily working on things related to their cases, and it felt like there were always a hundred things going on at once. Fast forward two years, and now, as a third year student, I actually get to shadow fourth years on their clinical rotations!

Now that I've had most of my basic courses during my first two years of veterinary school, my fellow third year students and I are assigned to various clinic services throughout the year. Every Wednesday while you are on your clinic rotations, you spend the whole day just getting immersed in what goes on in the teaching hospitals on an everyday basis. Whether it's helping fourth year students with their patient treatments or participating in rounds, third year students get to do so much! I've already had three rotations in clinics this semester, and I'll get four more next semester. So far, I've shadowed in Small Animal Oncology (cancer treatment), Equine Soft Tissue Surgery, and Equine Internal Medicine. Next semester, I'll be on Canine Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Cardiology, and Anesthesia.

Something that I found very valuable about shadowing in the teaching hospitals was having the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I have had much more experience with dogs and cats, so it was a very valuable learning experience for me to work with horses all day. Having fourth years to talk to about their clinic experiences and get advice from was also really helpful.

One of the best parts about having all of the third years dispersed over different services is getting to hear from all of your classmates about the experiences they had. While I was in Equine Soft Tissue Surgery, I had friends that were in Small Animal Emergency and Zoo Medicine, just to name a few. So even though I wasn't there to get to actually see the cases for myself, just hearing about my friends' experiences still makes my day! I'm already looking forward to clinics next semester; who knows what I'll get to see!