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Getting Back Into the Swing

Hi y'all!

Hope the holidays were just as a-mazing for you as they were for me! We had a whole four weeks off to spend with family, take a vacation, visit clinics, or do absolutely nothing for one last time. Since I'm a third year, I start my clinical rotations in May. Then after a year of acting like a real doctor, taking boards, and working really hard, I'm thrown into the real world to finally act like an adult! Forever! Sure, I guess we get a week off here and there (spring break, holiday intersession)-but, really, we're full time from now on. I was a little reluctant to come back to school with that thought in mind-but even though the thought of growing up is scary, it's also very exciting.

As a third year, our semester is split into four "blocks." Though our core classes (like small animal medicine and radiology) remain constant throughout, we switch between clinics, skills, surgery, and various electives every four weeks. Thankfully, I lucked out with an easy schedule for my first couple weeks back. Most of my electives happened to fall into my other seven blocks, so I have a few sizable breaks that have helped me ease back into the routine. The most fun class I currently have is definitely orthopedic surgery. We started by fixing fractures on bone models with all kinds of fancy equipment. This included (but was not limited to) pins made to go through the center of the bone, wire designed to encircle the bone, and a series of screws and bars made to function on the outside of an animal's broken leg. All the girls (and boys, potentially) in my class that were not previously proficient with power tools should now be able to safely operate a drill. Ha! It hasn't been all fun and games, however. Our correlates class, where we're given medical cases to solve, has gone from being a group effort every other week, to an individual effort every week. I can safely say that I'm working hard and learning a lot.

Not only are classes back into full swing, the spring event planning is well underway. As the marine mammal chair for the zoo, exotics, and wildlife medicine group (ZEW), I'm putting together a necropsy event scheduled for late April. We're bringing in wild dolphins that died of natural causes (and washed up onshore) for students to learn from; gaining experience in treating some of the more exotic species is so valuable for those wanting to pursue careers in zoos, aquariums, and wildlife organizations. Open house planning is coming right along as well. The famous teddy bear surgery, breeds parade, and ZEW room will be back as usual-make sure to mark your calendar for April 20th!

Coming off of a break, I'm getting used to the life of a veterinary student all over again. But not too soon after I get used to the routine, I'll be a doctor!