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The Semester is Over, Looking to Next Fall

The semester has come to a close, and all those books are starting to collect a layer of dust.  Most vet students have left the College Station area and are out enjoying their summer while gaining some veterinary experience along the way.  After their first or second year of vet school, most students get a job or internship at a clinic, shelter, or zoo, just to gain a little more hands-on knowledge while they have the opportunity.  While everyone celebrates the summer and the fact that our noses are not in a book anymore, we all in one way or another are looking forward to the fall semester.

For the incoming first year class, this is the start of their journey to becoming veterinarians.  During the summer, they are getting their final orientation packets, ordering supplies and finding a place to live, if they are from a different school.  Their excitement usually grows daily until that day in August comes and they gather with the other 130 students and the nervousness takes over.  First year is an interesting year, full of new experiences and meeting new people.

In the fall, the new second years will be learning about everything that will go wrong in the body.  They take an entire year of pathology and pharmacology, and learn about different diseases.  New technical skills are acquired and these students are just as excited not to be in the smelly anatomy lab anymore, even though it is replaced by the pathology lab.

The new third years (that’s me!) will decide what track we are on and start clinical rotations.  If we track large animal, we do block rotations pertaining to large animal medicine such as equine pediatrics, food animal reproduction, cervids (llamas and alpacas), swine medicine, exotic hoof stock medicine, and herd management.  If students track small animal, they have opportunities to take clinical rotations such as small animal gastrointestinal, small animal dentistry, pocket pet medicine, and much, much more.  Students can take a mixture of these classes if they still want to, but it is more likely for those that are tracking mixed animal.  We just cannot believe we are halfway to becoming veterinarians.

The fourth years actually start their next year less than a week after the third year ends.  It’s a whole different and new wave of excitement that overcomes this group, because it means they are so close to becoming a veterinarian. Starting Monday, this group of students is inside the hospitals every single day, putting everything they have learned in the previous three years to use.  There are no more tests, but they will be preparing to take the national and state boards that are required to be a practicing veterinarian.  These students, after picking their tracks in third year, make their way around the different services, hopefully focusing on the animals and practices they would like to work on once they are out of school.  If tracking large animal, they spend a lot of time in large animal hospital with a few weeks in the small animal, and it is switched for those that are tracking small animal medicine.  For those tracking mixed animal, they will go between the different hospitals, learning as much as they can.

Those students that are about to graduate are headed out into the work force, learning and experiencing new things that life has in store for them.  GOOD LUCK to EVERYONE!!!