Hitting the Ground Running
After just finishing the first two weeks of my
third year, I am already feeling busy, but also excited for the
semester. Third year is full of not only important lectures, but
also awesome skills lab, clinics, electives, and surgery! The
schedule is jammed packed with material to get us ready for fourth
year, so it’s a nonstop day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Third year is very different from the first two years of vet
school in that we have electives of our own choosing throughout
four different blocks. My first elective is "Oncology" and I am
learning from the oncologists in our hospitals; they are
specialized in this field, so I am learning from clinicians who can
give us tricks of the trade and break down what is most common or
most important to know for when we get out into practice. So far,
they have lectured to us about the different cancer types,
different treatments options, and the differences in our species.
This past week we met at the Diagnostic Imaging & Cancer
Treatment Center, where they showed us the state-of-the-art
equipment A&M has that we can use treat our patients, such as
CT, MRI, and Tomotherapy. The elective is broken up so that we are
not just in lecture the entire time, but also are getting a chance
to work on cases ourselves and see how we would go about diagnosing
an animal and staging the types of cancer.
I am also taking "Small Animal Skills" this block, and it’s been
good practice as well! The very first week of "Small Animals
Skills" started with a reptile-handling lab, in which I learned how
to restrain snakes, different sized lizards, and turtles. A reptile
rescue group came in, bringing a plethora of reptiles with them so
we could get plenty of practice. I personally held several species
of snakes, including a corn snake, ball python, and hog-nosed
snake. Out of the lizards, I held a Chinese waterdragon, Tegu, and
bearded dragon. It was amazing to be able to have that experience
and learn so much about them.
The classes themselves are really interesting because we are
starting our small-animal and large=animal medicine courses.
Medicine really helps us gain the tools necessary to think like a
doctor! In large-animal medicine, we are starting with the topic of
theriogenology, which is all about reproduction. For our cattle,
horses, goats, and sheep, knowledge of reproduction is very
important so we can make sure we are keeping our breeds free of
congenital problems. Small-animal medicine is starting a lecture
series on oncology, so I am getting a lot of knowledge in that
With all of the new and exciting labs and classes I am taking
this semester, I’m happy I am hitting the ground running with third
year and hope to gain a ton of new experiences along the way!