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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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Archive for tag: 3VM

Big Decisions

Big Decisions I have recently been tasked with submitting my fourth-year rotation preferences for our next, and last, year. I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. I was so overwhelmed when the administration first introduced this process to us. The way our fourth year of veterinary school works is we enter into the Small and Large Animal Teaching Hospitals from May 2019 to May 2020. During this timeframe, we spend two weeks’ time on each of a series of rotations to gain experience in a clinical setting, making our own decisions, and taking care of patients. It is our last step to becoming a doctor, other than passing the NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination), of course. The first decision we must make for our fourth year of veterinary school is choosing a track. These tracks include small animal, large animal, mixed, or alternative track. I settled on doing mixed animal, which is a combination of small and large animal track. Although most of ... (Read More)

The Importance of Giving Back and Voting

The Importance of Giving Back and Voting I’ve always been told the importance of giving back—to use my privilege and my place in the world as one of influence and to help those who seek help, as well as those who don’t seek it but are in need of it. Recently, I was given the opportunity to help a young student who wanted to take a similar path as mine—that is, to attend veterinary school. Cooper and his grandparents wanted to pick the mind of a veterinary student to answer any questions plaguing Cooper’s mind since making the decision to pursue this career. One night, we all met for dinner. Things started out slow, talking about my life and theirs. As we got to know each other and we got more comfortable, my advice became more free flowing, going beyond what was needed to be done to get into vet school to tell them why we do those things. During our converation, I saw Cooper’s eyes light up as he talked about animals! He talked about dogs and cats, wildlife medicine, hedgehogs, a... (Read More)

Baby Dog-tors

Baby Dog-tors One of the most highly anticipated days for a veterinary student is the day you do your first spay or neuter in third year. That day is almost here for me! We have put in so much time and effort to get to this point, and I’ll have to admit, there are some times that I feel out of my depth facing clinics next year. Despite all of the information I’ve crammed into my head over the past two years, I realize that just knowing all the medicine doesn’t fully prepare you to practice medicine. Surgery, especially, is one of the most daunting hurdles to reach and is a rite of passage for students. The really cool thing about third-year surgeries is that not only are we forwarding our experience in school, but we’re also giving back to the community. All of the animals are from local animal shelters; the school provides the surgeries free of charge for shelters and future owners to encourage adoption, because spays and neuters are one of the most cost... (Read More)

OK...I can do This

OK...I can do This My experience in veterinary school so far has been an exhilarating, eye-opening, challenging journey. While I've had its extreme highs and lows, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the ride. At the end of my second year this past spring—the halfway point in the veterinary program—however, I had a mounting fear growing in the back of my mind. I was afraid that I had spent so long in the classroom that I wouldn’t actually know what to do in a real clinical setting in which people are looking to me for answers. To some, this may seem like an irrational fear, but to me and other veterinary students, it is a very realistic fear that we frequently struggle with. I remember thinking, “I’ve literally been in school my entire life; do I even know how to do anything other than be in school?” So that was how I ended my second year, full of self-doubt. I didn’t intend to waste my final summer vacation, though. I reached out to numerous veterinary p... (Read More)

Taking on Phoenix

Taking on Phoenix   Third-year veterinary students Ryan De Vuyst, Reagan McAda, Rebecca Gooder, and Kale Johnson prepare for the Quiz Bowl Competition. Recently, 10 Texas A&M veterinary students, including myself, traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, for the 51st annual American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Conference. As if simply attending my very first AABP conference wasn’t exciting enough, three fellow third-year veterinary students and I had the opportunity to compete in the Quiz Bowl competition! The Quiz Bowl is bracket-style competition, during which students must not only be well-versed in a variety of bovine veterinary medicine related topics, but also have lightning-fast fingers in order hit the buzzer before another team does! While our team, unfortunately, did not advance out of the first round (congratulations to University of Georgia for winning our round and the entire competition!), it was still a very fun, worthwh... (Read More)

What's in an Externship?

What's in an Externship?   Mary Margaret takes a look into the eye of a horse that was being examined for a complicated ocular disease during her second summer externship. What does a veterinary student do during their limited summer breaks? Anything that looks a lot like school without actually being more school, of course. I chose to work in a few hospitals and also extern in a few hospitals. What’s an externship? Well, it's two or more weeks of total immersion into a practice, which allows students to try and figure out if that practice or career path will be a good option for them. All fourth-year students at A&M complete somewhere between two and 12 weeks of externships at clinics all over the state and, sometimes, the world. I picked three different equine hospitals across the state and spent a few weeks this summer trying to figure out if being a horse vet is a good idea. The first externship was still technically during breeding season ... (Read More)

An Unexpected Education

An Unexpected Education The more time I spend in vet school, the more I’m in awe of the passage of time. Perhaps it’s just growing older or the realization that I’ve just experienced my last “summer break,” but it has become more striking than ever that time simply flies by. Recently, as I stood in my coveralls, watching the farrier demonstrate how to maintain a horse’s hoof, I reflected on the many years of my childhood dreaming of being a veterinarian and working tirelessly toward that goal. All the skills I was once so terrified to do for fear of messing up—injections in large animals, reading blood smears, conducting a physical exam—seem so simple and natural now. It has only just now truly hit me—I’m over halfway done with vet school! More than that, clinics are right around the corner, and in a matter of weeks I’ll be donning my “big doctor coat,” all white and freshly ironed. It really sends my head spinning to think about, but that isn’t to say I’m not read... (Read More)

Finally Entering Clinics

Finally Entering Clinics The Texas A&M Veterinary Class of 2019 shared a bittersweet moment last Friday afternoon as we concluded our final classroom lecture of our professional curriculum. Without a doubt, the last three didactic years have been very challenging, and I am so proud of myself and my classmates for making it to this day, as we prepare to put on our white coats and begin clinical rotations next Monday. That said, we must get through our final exams this week and endure the endless hours of studying before reaching for that white coat. Of course, we don’t expect the studying to end this week; we have the national and state licensing examinations to start preparing for, after all. When my rotations begin, I will start on the anesthesiology rotation, which will expose me to anesthetic management in a variety of domestic, exotic, and laboratory species. As a fourth-year student, I will be participating in all aspects of anesthetic management, from ... (Read More)

Training with the VET

Training with the VET This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in the Veterinary Emergency Team’s (VET) annual exercise. It involved veterinarians, technicians, and other College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) faculty, staff, and alumni all coming together to assist in a mock disaster situation. Mikaela (far left) and her peers—Emily, Luke, and Katlyn—feeling like astronauts as they donned the personal protection equipment the VET occasionally uses during deployments The scenario for the three-day event involved two different explosions in South Texas. We “deployed” in smaller (strike) teams, made our way to the disaster sites, and then set up the VET trailers (mobile medical platforms) they use during actual deployments. Mock cases would come in over the radio and teams would walk through how they would handle each situation and treat the cases, some of which involved, cats, dogs, horses, and cattle. You have to b... (Read More)

Finding the Joy

Finding the Joy Vet school is a dream come true for all of the students currently enrolled in Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine! Despite this, it can be easy to become bogged down in exams, personal struggles, and commitments, at times, especially at the end of the semester as finals approach. This is why since starting school, many of us have taken to heart a concept explained to us during our first-year orientation. “Find the Joy” is a mantra that has been repeated more times than I can count. Whenever my class has been overwhelmed with a particularly challenging exam or week, someone has always reminded us to find the joy; it is a reminder to look at the little things in life that make you happy to bring you back to perspective that your struggles will pass and are not as insurmountable as you currently think they are. And that no matter what, there is joy in your life, if only you seek to find it. Each semester, right before finals week,... (Read More)