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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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My Fall as a 'Veteran' Pet Trainer

My Fall as a 'Veteran' Pet Trainer Fall finals are done and out of the way for undergraduates!! Yay! I survived…barely. Finals take an emotional and physical toll on just about everyone. But looking back on this semester, I would say the fall was, overall, successful. Throughout this semester, things got a little crazy in my house with my roommate’s two pets, an 11-month-old Great Pyrenees, Toph, and a 7 year-old-cat, Moo, as well as the service dogs I've been training that came in and out of the house. Back in August, I started off with a white Labrador Retriever named Pokey. He got along very well with the other pets, rough housing and keeping Toph company and even bothering, with mutual respect, of course, Moo. Training a service dog during the semester can be difficult; however, what made it harder was my replacement dog for Pokey, who returned to the headquarters of Patriot Paws of Aggieland to learn more advanced training. He may graduate as soon as spring 2018 to a veteran in need. In h... (Read More)

Looking Back and Ahead

Looking Back and Ahead Wow! This semester has just flown by! It seems like I just started classes again, but, instead, I just completed my finals. In my last block for the semester, I took two electives, "Clinical Pathology" and "Emergency Medicine." Clinical pathology is understanding disease processes and how they commonly present themselves using diagnostic tests such as blood work or cytology. Knowing how often veterinarians in practice read bloodwork, I was excited to be able to practice those skills and increase my confidence level before my fourth year. Emergency medicine was great because it helped me create a plan for the worst outcome, in hopes of saving lives. Having a basic idea of what to do in emergency situations helps give you a framework and the confidence to face those challenging cases head on. I have really enjoyed my electives this semester because I love how clinically relevant they are and how much they are preparing me for not only fourth year, but when I am o... (Read More)

Terra, the 'Service Dog'

Terra, the 'Service Dog' Recently, I was able to bring my dog, Terra, to school! That is one of the perks of being a veterinary student—sometimes we get to all bring our pets to class. Mikaela and Terra We needed her for our orthopedics laboratory, in which we were learning to do a proper orthopedic exam and how to apply a splint. Nothing beats the real thing when it comes to practicing, and Terra was a willing patient (for a lot of treats). We started out by just watching her walk in a straight line from the front, back, and sides to see her gait and how she moves. This can help you identify if there is a lame leg and which one it could be. Then you do the same thing at a jog. After that, we do a standing exam and you feel over all the joints for anything that is out of the ordinary. It is important to feel both sides at the same time to compare the two sides. Following the standing exam, Terra got to lay down and we went through all the ranges of motion on each joint to make s... (Read More)

Finals, Coffee, and Bears—Oh my!

Finals, Coffee, and Bears—Oh my! Finals week is upon us! There is truly nothing like a finals week in veterinary school, where it seems you learn an entire semester in one night! There is so much to remember and never enough time, so you are forced to learn as much as you can, do your best, and still be satisfied with never knowing all of the information. Third-year vet students are lucky and only have three finals this year—but they are all worth a LOT of points, so they cannot be taken lightly. The first final exam is in "Large Animal Medicine," over 29 hours worth of lectures. No pressure, right?! Our second exam is in "Small Animal Medicine" and ranges from placing external fixators on bones to how to tell if a female dog is pregnant. Our third exam is over "Radiology," and since it is cumulative, we have to study things from all the way back in August. Finals week and veterinary students are like hibernating bears and winter. We stock up on food and supplies, wear our comfiest clothes, ... (Read More)

Making Time for Myself

Making Time for Myself As the semester moves from Thanksgiving break into finals, now is a better time than ever to stress the importance of self-care, which has a reputation of being a glamorous luxury that requires a lot of time and money. While this is far from the case, it is also more than just mentally checking out and watching Netflix for a few hours. Jana and her sorority sisters used their study breaks to prepare to participate in SongFest; their theme "Game of Thrones." As an average college student, I find myself under a lot of pressure to perform well in school, be involved in extra curricular activities, hold a job, maintain a social life, stay healthy, and keep my room clean. Even though that last one tends to fall lower on my list of priorities, I still struggle to make time for all aspects of my busy life, let alone to take care of myself. According to PsychCentral, self-care is defined as any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our m... (Read More)

A Glimpse into the Vet School Curriculum

A Glimpse into the Vet School Curriculum As the new curriculum is implemented here at Texas A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine, more and more courses are designed to be fully clinically relevant. For the students, this means we get to play doctor from day one, as overwhelming as that may be. Here are some examples of what my fellow second-year veterinary students and I have seen among some of our classes this semester. “Charlie is a 6-year-old MC Boston Terrier who presented to your clinic with a one-month history of seizures that have been increasing in frequency and duration. After reviewing the following complete history and introductory blood work, write a prescription for an appropriate drug for Charlie.” Thus begins another pharmacology lab. My classmates are split into groups of five or so, each with a different case profile. For this lab, the groups are paired, with one acting as the emergency service and the other as the neurologists. While every case is differe... (Read More)

Life with a Little Lionhead

Life with a Little Lionhead   Nantika and Joujou Nibble, her Lionhead rabbit “Yes! It’s a typical thing veterinary students do,” I whisper to myself. This is a story of the Lionhead and me. It starts one Saturday morning when I am attending the Rat and Rabbit Wet lab, hosted by the Dental Club. The objective of this wet lab is for veterinary students to get hands-on experience with dental care for rats and rabbits. The rabbit breeder brought various breeds of rabbits, big and small, so students can learn to evaluate rabbit teeth. All rabbits are cute, but my eyes stopped at one small rabbit, one with a wool mane encircling the head, which makes it look like a little lion! I had never seen this breed before. Then, the breeder announced that she is currently trying to find a new home for one of her rabbits, and she pointed to that little Lionhead. And...that is the beginning of my life with little Lionhead. Lionhead is the name of the rabbit breed. The L... (Read More)

Filling a Puppy-Sized Hole in my Heart

Filling a Puppy-Sized Hole in my Heart   Laine, before her undergraduate graduation, and Karsen, the service dog she raised, who graduated to become a diabtic-alert companion for a woman in Arizona. It’s funny, the things you look forward to in life as time goes on and things change. Looking forward to the break has always been a constant in my life and now that I’m nearing the midpoint of my second year in vet school, I only have two winters and one summer left to cherish—what a thought! I’m looking forward to going home and visiting my family, of course, but I’m also excited to go back and work for the veterinary clinic I’ve been helping at since I was 16 years old. They’ve always been a second family to me and I’ve never failed to learn something from the staff there as I practice my new knowledge. It’s never really work when you’re with people you love, doing what you love. That isn’t the only reason I’m excited to return home this winter, though! As an u... (Read More)

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Taking Advantage of Opportunities Only 20 days of school left! I can’t believe time flew by so fast. Just a little over two months ago, I was starting my first semester of my sophomore year. Because of the opportunities I found last year, I have been balancing not only school, but also working as an ambassador, doing research in the animal behavior lab, and volunteering at the Wildlife Center (it’s a class, but you’re essentially volunteering). It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun, too! I experienced so many new things this semester, and I can’t wait to experience more. I like to think I’m a hard worker. Maybe it is the Vietnamese blood in me. Maybe it was my family’s circumstances. Maybe it is just my personality. Whatever the reason, that trait helped me get to where I am now. About a month ago, I applied for the BIMS Costa Rica Study Abroad (which, by the way, I encourage any BIMS undergrad to apply for). In my application, I wrote a two-page essay that was peer-... (Read More)

Looking Forward to my Last Break

Looking Forward to my Last Break This upcoming Christmas break will be my last as a student, as my peers and I will be entering clinics immediately after the conclusion of the third-year veterinary curriculum. I have been meticulously planning to get the most out of the four-week break, during which I will be spending two weeks doing a veterinary externship in Dallas and the remaining time traveling with family and friends. Externships offer students an exciting opportunity to spend two to six weeks under a direct doctor mentorship to apply the clinical skills obtained during the first three years of veterinary school and ease the transition from classroom to clinical practice. I am really looking forward to the externship experience, as I feel more confident interpreting blood work and other laboratory data than I have ever been. Needless to say, I am also very excited to travel! My advice to all future students is that you should use your free time to travel spontaneously... (Read More)