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:

Being Sick…

Being Sick… As a veterinary student, I find the body and the way it works incredible. You don’t have to consciously tell your heart to beat or your intestines to digest; they just do their jobs, thanks to regulation by a special part of the nervous system. When the body is under different conditions, like being sick, the way it works can be just as interesting. Unless it is you who is sick… This past Monday I woke up and felt pretty bad. I thought I might just have a bad case of the “Mondays” and tried to power through. I sat at the back of the class to avoid close contact with my fellow classmates in case I was sick. After sitting through a morning of lectures and realizing I wasn’t getting better, I went home. I slept through the entire afternoon, woke up briefly to have some water, toast, and medicine, and went back to bed. Feeling worse the next morning, I took action and went in to the doctor. She was able to tell me that it wasn’t your average strep ... (Read More)

My Favorite Part of the Year Is Here

My Favorite Part of the Year Is Here It’s that time again. As an October baby, I was born to love this time of year. This is also the time of year when students are hitting the well-known “burn out” stage. The end of the semester is near and everyone is feeling it. Instead of dwelling over the inevitable, I’m going to think about the things that are orange, black, feathered, pig-skinned, mashed, white, red and jolly. Howl-o-ween: one of my favorite holidays. I’m a vet student, so any opportunity to dress up my animals is a bonus. This year my dachshund was a hotdog. Each year our class has put together a pet costume contest. This is so fun. It’s neat to see how everyone dresses their pets. At a practice in El Paso, we passed out candy, offered Halloween pet safety information, and discounted vaccines. It’s a good way to reach out to the public, provide a public service, and have fun at the same time. Pumpkin everything: pumpkins spiced latte (perhaps better known as the PSL), pumpk... (Read More)

Preparing for Vet School

Preparing for Vet School Howdy! Another great day in Aggieland: the weather is starting to get colder, meaning it’s time to pull out the winter clothes, make some hot chocolate, and study while listening to holiday music.  This past month has been very busy, with many tests, assignments, meetings, and the most important: the due date for veterinary school applications!  Applications for the Texas A&M vet school open up at the end of spring semester and are available all the way up until October 1, the due date.  That sounds like a lot of time, but between logging hours, getting recommendation letters ready, taking the GRE, and sending in transcripts, the time goes by way too quickly!  I suggest getting things done before the fall semester starts so that you don’t have too much on your plate.  Some of the most common questions I get during tours in regards to the application process are: How many shadowing hours should I have? What majo... (Read More)

Oreos, Funyuns, and Gardettos! Oh My!

Oreos, Funyuns, and Gardettos!  Oh My! It never fails.  When you’re a veterinary student and you have pets—especially if you have a dog—you tend to end up in a veterinary hospital for one random reason or another.  My boyfriend, Zach, and I adopted a wire-haired dachshund from the Harris County Animal Shelter in August and named him Fender.  He was pretty good for a 5-month-old puppy.  He only had a few accidents here and there before he was completely potty trained, and even when he did have accidents, they were generally on his dog pillow or towel so that it was easy to clean up (how considerate!).  Having worked in clinics and been surrounded by hundreds of people who own animals, you hear the horror stories of things that pets have gotten into: socks, underwear, a whole package of honey buns, magnets, rubber turtles, copper cables: the list is never-ending! Of course, you think that when you get your own dog things will be different, which is complete de... (Read More)

A Realization of the Path you have Chosen

A Realization of the Path you have Chosen I usually give some advice about school and not forgetting to take time to enjoy college, but today I want to shift my typical tone. I do not know if most people know this, but besides being an Ambassador, I currently work as an Emergency Room Scribe, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in the past six months. As a scribe, I follow either the emergency room doctor or the physician assistant into the patient’s room and take notes on the complaints and history of each patient. Following that interaction, I get to have my own time with the patient asking more questions to complete my chart and gather information that I relay to the providers, if it’s medically relevant, to help the patient. I want to talk to you today about my experience in the Emergency Room last week and how it has made me reflect upon my decision to practice medicine. There is a lot of responsibility on the scribes because we help chart for the doctors and mak... (Read More)

Communication: More Important than You'd Think

Communication: More Important than You'd Think My least favorite part of the veterinary curriculum is our communication exercises. It's a little surprising, since one aspect of being an ambassador is giving tours and talking to people I've never met before, but every year the communication exercises make me incredibly nervous. I'm not quite sure what it is about them, but every year I get more butterflies in my stomach from this than from anything else we do. What are these dreaded exercises, you ask? Well, during first and second year, we are videotaped having a client communication interaction. We are given a scenario and we must have a 7-10 minute interaction with a simulated client. The majority of the time, these clients are not your everyday, happy client. They are usually unhappy about something, and one of the goals of these exercises is conflict management. Then, in third year, we have five simulated interactions to assess our communication skills and how far we have come since fir... (Read More)

From Sperry’s to Boots: Third Year Skills

From Sperry’s to Boots: Third Year Skills Those of you who have read my biography know that I am intensely focused on small animal medicine. I prefer Sperry Top-Siders over cowboy boots and like to wear Ray-Bans with my bow ties on game day. I grew up in the suburbs of Houston and have always been a city boy. Thanks to some family friends I was able to ride horses growing up, but I have never been keen on large animal medicine. Well, in veterinary school, regardless of your focus, you work with everything: cats, dogs, horses, cows, birds, goats, pigs, etc. During our third year we have a skills lab where we learn the more technical aspects of veterinary medicine with actual animals. This past month I was in large animal skills. This city boy had to trade in his Sperry's for some cowboy boots. I was sure to scuff them up a little before we started skills labs so the good ol' boys wouldn't judge me too much. Fortunately for me, they start large animal skills lab from a basic level, wh... (Read More)

More to Life than Studying

More to Life than Studying So midterms are officially over for me! I said this year would be the year where I would at least attempt to give my friends more time and I can say I've successfully accomplished just that. It is truly important for every college student to remember to devote the time necessary to loved ones, best friends, and/or significant others. I spent so much time during my first two years at Texas A&M scouring textbooks and calculating responses to equations that I, in effect, forgot to calculate my friends into my life. I feel so much more balanced and at ease now that I have. In addition, I would like to debunk the theory that was repeated to me my freshman year about school becoming "easier" as your undergraduate years go by. If anything, it seems as though my course load is becoming more rigorous, but you know what? I enjoy the challenge! Never would I have thought that I'd actually enjoy learning about X chromosome inactivation or organic mechan... (Read More)

What to Look Forward to in Vet School

What to Look Forward to in Vet School This week marks the halfway point in the fall semester of my second year of vet school, and with that come midterm exams.  Everyone is studying a little harder and using any free time to study just a little more.  I will be taking three tests in three days, which is a little stressful, but doable. So, what are these exams in, you ask? As first years, we learned what is normal in the body.  In the fall semester, we took immunology, small animal anatomy (looking at the dog and cat), and histology (studying the tissues and organs at a cellular level).  There are also courses in physiology, animal behavior, and a clinical correlates course that teaches students how to give a physical exam and other skills that are needed out in the world as a veterinarian.  Spring semester brings classes in microbiology, public health, embryology, and neurology, as well as the second half of physiology.  First year students also take... (Read More)

When a Beloved Pet Gets Sick

When a Beloved Pet Gets Sick In the beginning of September, our family dog, a 6-year-old Cairn Terrier named Zac, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma.  Given his age and apparent health, this came as a huge shock to my family.  In our mind, Zac was in his prime.  He was attending weekly agility classes with my mom, serving as a therapy dog at nursing homes and schools, and patrolling the backyard for any lizards that may be hiding.  He was energetic, curious, and anything but ill. In August, my mom noticed a small lesion on his tongue and took him in to get a veterinarian's opinion.  After watching it for a couple weeks, she decided to get the spot surgically removed.  The biopsy and histopathology indicated that the lesion was cancerous, and after multiple tests, the diagnosis was made.  Unfortunately, T-cell lymphoma does not have a great reputation for being cured.  In fact, it is often found to have metastasized to other areas of ... (Read More)