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!!!