Skip Navigation
Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
Subscribe to Student Perspectives RSS

Monthly Archives:

Rally Obedience – A fun team sport for dogs and handlers

Rally Obedience – A fun team sport for dogs and handlers Harley, my miniature poodle, and I went to a dog show in Conroe last weekend where we competed in Rally Obedience. Unlike a regular obedience competition, where a judge gives orders, competitors navigate a course of stations with the dog in heel position. It was me and Harley's first show, and we were competing in the novice class against other handlers who were new to the sport as well.  Unlike traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course. We compete in AKC rally where you start with 100 points and the judge deducts points for mistakes. A qualifying score is a 70 or above. If you qualify three times the dog earns a title. We arrived in Conroe early to make sure we did not miss our class. While we were there we talked with some very nice people. One man had a golden retriever that he was raising as a service dog competing in the novice class. This was a way for him to try something new and switch up... (Read More)

It‘s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It‘s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Another semester has come to an end and it's time for us to enjoy a little time off from the hectic and busy schedule that is common among all vet students. I always look forward to winter break. The fall semester, which seems to drag on forever, is finally over and all the notes that have accumulated over the semester can be put in the back of my closet. I no longer have to feel guilty for choosing the couch and television over a 700-page binder of notes (well, at least for a few weeks). During this time of the year, everyone is in high spirits and the weather is a welcome change from the relentless Texas heat, even if it is still eighty degrees outside. One of my favorite things about winter break is celebrating Christmas. Christmas is without a doubt my favorite holiday. It's a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends that we, as students, often don't get to do a lot of during the semester. I always have a fun and enjoyable ho... (Read More)

The End of Finals

The End of Finals Howdy Aggies, The end of the semester has finally come and that means finals. Late nights reviewing with your note cards, lecture slides, and the best of what Starbucks has to offer. Finals time is very stressful but just remember Christmas break starts soon. A tip for the next few days of near all nighters is sleep. I have done my fair share of all nighters but let me tell you they do not work.  I felt terrible and any type of caffeine booster does not really help the stomach after that much time awake. If you know you are going to pull an all-nighter I would suggest 30 minutes to an hour nap at the most once you feel yourself closing your eyes frequently. For the freshmen if you have not found your spot to crash on campus I would like to suggest the 3rd floor of Evans or the back side of the MSC is quiet and has great couches to catch some sleep. Remember to do your best, your mind needs time to relax and recharge so forget the AMP or... (Read More)

Broaden Your Horizons

Broaden Your Horizons I want to take this opportunity to tell you all about my first veterinary summer experience.  I chose to apply for the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to take part in the Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Training Program.  We were able to choose a research program that one of the faculty members were currently working. I have always been interested in large animal medicine and disease prevention. I grew up on the United States - Mexico border and have witnessed the impact that border inspection has both on the American and Mexican side. I was lucky enough to have found Dr. Charles Long's lab, where they were working on antiviral techniques to prevent vesicular disease. The purpose of this work was to develop a method that stimulates the immune system to be in a poised state, which could block virus invasion. If successful, this new method could provide much needed protection to livestock and th... (Read More)

One Semester Closer

One Semester Closer This week marks an always interesting and stressful time the in the life of a vet student - finals. During the fall semester of the second year of veterinary school we take the following classes: pharmacology, parasitology, nutrition (split into large and small animal), clinical correlates, and pathology. Lucky for me, we do not have to take a final in correlates, so I was down to four. My first test was nutrition. I tried to prepare myself as best I could for large animal nutrition. I filled my mind with information pertaining to things like rumen pH, forage and concentrate ratios, milk fever, and the proper amount of amino acids that should be in the diet. The more that I studied for this class; the more I realized that my interest does not lie in large animals. However, in order to be a well-rounded doctor it is still important that I have some idea as to what these terms mean. My second final was pathology. Our teacher took it easy on us this ... (Read More)

Best in Show

Best in Show A lot of time when I'm giving tours, people ask me how I deal with the stress of veterinary school. One of the most important things that I always tell people is to make sure to take time away from school to do things that make you happy! Everyone has their own hobbies, whether it be going to see movies, playing sports, or hanging out with friends. One of the things I do with my free time is a little unusual...I go to dog shows! My boyfriend and I have a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Finn who competes in dog shows and hunt tests. Eventually we would like to breed him, and so getting a show championship is necessary towards that goal. Now for those of you that have seen the movie Best In Show, we aren't anywhere near that crazy, but it is definitely a whole different world when you step into the show arena. Here's how it goes: Preparing for a dog show takes a certain amount of planning ahead of time. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers... (Read More)

Reflecting on the Year

Reflecting on the Year Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are finally in the home stretch of the semester. It is hard to believe that I am already nearly halfway done with my second year of vet school.  It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in orientation, both excited and terrified about the challenges awaiting me.  As this semester comes to a close, I'd like to reflect a bit on my feelings about veterinary school.  To begin, I am more and more grateful each day that I will be a part of this profession.  As classes become more clinically focused and applicable, I find myself excited to learn and pleased with how much I have learned already.  There is a sense of pride when you hear a veterinarian reference a drug and you understand the way it works and why it is being used. It only takes a few of those instances to remind you of why you're putting yourself through the daily challenges of veterinary school. As a second year stude... (Read More)

Waiting for Fourth Year

Waiting for Fourth Year Today, one of my best friends from undergrad and vet school, a fourth year named Melanie, takes the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE), arguably the most important test in a veterinarian's career.  This is the test that, if you pass, allows you to actually practice veterinary medicine.  Spread out over about a month in November and December, the fourth year students are divided and assigned a date to take this day-long test.  Now, to be honest, I don't know the details of the test-how long it is, how many sections, etc.  I just know that it covers everything I have been learning these past three years and that I will be taking it in about one year from now.  It is the one part of fourth year I am not looking forward to. Otherwise, I can't wait until I start my fourth year.  For those of you who don't know, the fourth year of veterinary school takes place in the clinics.  For the most part, there i... (Read More)

Vet School Episode Third Year – The Return of Common Sense

Vet School Episode Third Year – The Return of Common Sense Another title could have been "Third Year - Finally a Year in Which I Can Excel." Now, before I get too far into this post, I must explain that common sense is a part of every year of vet school.  However, as a student, common sense can appear lost during the first two years as we get into the weeds of microbiology, pharmacology, and parasitology.  As a 30,000-foot, big-picture-kind-of-guy, all of this memorization left me floundering and looking for some semblance of order.   Well, thanks to third year, I found it. First year of veterinary school is about learning normal - normal anatomy, normal physiology, normal embryology, normal histology, normal, normal, normal.  Which makes sense because if you can't identify normal, you will never be able to identify abnormal.  Enter second year.  Second year is about identifying abnormal and learning the fundamentals about ways to treat the abnormal.  Third ye... (Read More)

An Adoption Story

An Adoption Story This past month has been so exciting for me! Junior surgery has been my favorite third-year class all semester-but lately it's gotten even better. We recently graduated from goat and rabbit surgeries to cat and dog spays. Whoop! We are divided into groups of three for the semester and rotate though being the surgeon, assistant surgeon, and anesthetist for the procedures. This past month, every Friday afternoon cats and dogs from local animal shelters were transported to the vet school. The student scheduled to be surgeon that week took care of their assigned animal every morning and night. I was the assistant surgeon for our first shelter dog. Though we were nervous and the surgery took a little longer than what an experienced vet could do, everything went well, and our new spayed friend could go back into the world to be adopted. Several of my classmates got so attached to their surgery dogs that they ended up taking them home themselves. I wa... (Read More)