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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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The Dreaded Third-Year Cases

The Dreaded Third-Year Cases As third-year veterinary students, we get to enjoy doing cases each week. This is an interesting opportunity for us. It’s bittersweet because these cases are HARD! We get cases where the animals have multiple things wrong with them. Then we create differentials for what diseases could be causing each symptom. We then create a diagnostic plan on what we want to test for first and possibly start treatment. This process is how we should be thinking as doctors when we have live patients in front of us. Right now it’s good practice, but so hard because we don’t know everything and we have to research each and every case. I spend an average of 10 hours a week on a case, in addition to my classes and studying for tests. Now this definitely sounds bitter so far, but let me explain why it’s sweet. I learn so much from each hour I spend researching diseases. Even if I rule out a certain disease for my patient, I learned so much about the disease for later in life. It is ... (Read More)

2VM Communications Elective

2VM Communications Elective During February I participated in the second-year veterinary student (2VM) communications elective. Every Thursday we would head over to the simulation lab at the Health Science Center to practice our communication skills with different scenarios. In these scenarios we are the veterinarians, not veterinary students. As the veterinarian, we were responsible for taking a history, discussing the differential diagnoses or what the problem potentially could be, and the tests we would like to perform to help decide what diagnosis to make. These scenarios ranged from interacting with a client new to our practice to a client making tough decisions about quality of life and euthanasia. We participated in these scenarios with different actors. And let me tell you—they were very convincing! I really enjoyed taking this elective because as a practicing veterinarian you cannot help your patient without having the client on-board. Having difficult conversations about expecta... (Read More)

Nostalgia Ultra

Nostalgia Ultra As graduation looms closer, and as I try to figure out what exactly is going in my physiology class, I’ve realized that I’ve been in a state of constant nostalgia. I want to rewind to about three years ago, when I first embarked on my journey at Texas A&M. Chemistry had always been a formidable opponent for me. Dating back to when I had just started to learn the basics in middle school to when I finally took a chemistry course in high school, I had always feared the chemical elements of nature. Chemistry was an unconquerable obstacle that often made me question my intelligence and sanity. The word “zwitterion” was more than enough to send me into a paralyzed state of anxiety. As a senior in high school, I chose to be a biomedical science major on a whim. Prior to my decision, I had had no clue about what to do with my life (and oftentimes I still don’t.) However, after persuasion from my parents, I elected to entrench myself in the sciences—those wonderfu... (Read More)

A Much-Needed Spring Break

A Much-Needed Spring Break This spring semester has certainly flown by; we are already over halfway through with it. It has been a very busy first half for most of the mixed and large animal students. Besides our regular classes, as third years, we get to take electives, which are specialty classes we get to choose to take based on what interests us. Being mixed or large animal, we get to “celebrate learning” a few more times throughout the semester (by taking tests) than our small animal counterparts. Some might complain about more tests, but I find it rewarding to be able to learn more about the profession I will be entering in just 14 short months. One of the large animals electives I found to be excellent this semester is the bovine reproduction laboratory class. I was able to palpate four cows twice a week to determine their pregnancy status. I now feel confident that when I graduate I will be able to do this on my own. With all the craziness that came with the past... (Read More)

Focusing on What’s Important

Focusing on What’s Important Midterms are upon us, and it’s so overwhelming. In our attempts to maintain or improve our grades, we are stressed to the point of no return. Studying for hours upon hours, some of us only getting few hours of sleep, we wonder how the human body can take all the stress. We all want to be successful, but I realize now that there is a fine line between being a studious student and having your studies engross you. Last year, as a freshman, I let my studies define me. It was my way of self-approval. So when I didn’t do well on a quiz or an exam, my self-approval plummeted, and I felt like nothing. This obsession with making a 4.0 affected the way I interacted with my friends, my family, and myself. It ate me up, and I hated it. I realized I had hit a bottom that I thought I would never reach, and I knew I had to make a change. After a ton of self-reflection, I realized how unimportant everything was. Of course grades are important; however, at the ... (Read More)

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand Second semester of the first year of veterinary school is very challenging. We are in class more often than first semester, and there are many more exams, quizzes, and assignments. We also have to balance academics with involvement in the myriad of vet school organizations. Fortunately, the college offers several resources to support students when they feel discouraged. One resource that helps students’ transition to vet school is the mentorship programs. Each first-year student is paired with a second-year student mentor. My second-year student mentor gave me great advice about studying as well as a collection of past exams and assignments to study from. The college also has a faculty mentor program, where students are paired with faculty mentors. Each month the school pays for faculty mentors to take a group of students to dinner. Mentor dinners are a great chance to relax and ask questions about life after obtaining a Doctor of Veterinary Me... (Read More)

My New German Shepherd

My New German Shepherd So, I got a new addition to my family over winter break.  Since I live in a house off campus, I've been wanting to get a dog for a while now.  I have a big backyard, and I just love dogs.  I was on a list to adopt a military working dog from Fort Hood, but something else happened to come up before that.  By a strange string of happenings, the neighbors who once lived beside my family, and who my mom was still friends with on Facebook, had a dog they were having trouble taking care of.  My mom jumped at the opportunity to adopt the two-year-old German shepherd, a breed she has a fondness for, named Ziva.  Trouble being, Ziva lived in Indiana, and I was in Colorado for Christmas and was planning to drive home with my grandparents and my cat. So how was I going to pick up this German shepherd and get it home?  The solution was combine all of the above.  We met the family halfway, a sort of triangulation betwee... (Read More)

From the Classroom to Actually Practicing Medicine

From the Classroom to Actually Practicing Medicine I feel like I say this all the time, but I can't believe how quickly the semester is flying by! The kicker is that this semester is my last semester of formal class in veterinary school, which is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I'm trying to soak up as much information as possible during this last semester because I know there is a time in the not-so-distant future when I'll be expected to put this knowledge to use. It's funny to think how eager I was first year to finish the classroom portion of vet school and get into clinics, and now I'm wishing I could review anatomy with the first years one last time. Don't get me wrong: I am excited to be done with the classroom, especially after four years of undergrad and almost three years of vet school. It's just that I've finally gotten the studying down; I really am a professional student. In May, I will have to start over, in a sense, and build an entirely new skill set as I begin t... (Read More)

The Best One Yet

The Best One Yet This week marks the officially the 6th week of the 2015 spring semester, and as the first round of exams roles out to an end, I see myself getting into a great start for the rest of the semester. Last semester was a good, but it wasn't good enough, and I know I could it have been better. There was definitely much room for improvement. So this semester I saw it fit that I actually make that improvement that I thought was necessary. So after five complete weeks of hard work and determination, that improvement I've been waiting for has finally arrived. Getting back my results from the first round of exams helped me become more confident in my academic endeavors, which also enabled me to look forward to the rest if the semester with my head high. My goal, like any other college student, is to end the year with a 4.0, and by the looks from it, it seems very possible. So to anyone who might be reading this and feels as if this semester hasn’t gotten off... (Read More)


Birthdays I can’t believe it has already been five weeks since school started, and we have three more weeks until spring break!! I have already had first tests in half of my classes, and they went pretty well! Now it is time to start studying for the next round of tests, which hopefully won’t be too bad. This past month has been filled with birthdays, which made my February busy. Four of my friends (and my dog) have birthdays this month, so we would go out to dinner to celebrate each week. The good part is that each week I get cookies or cake! Last week I went to BJ’s to celebrate one of my friend’s birthday and we had Pizookies. If you have never had a Pizookie, then you are missing out. They are the best desserts ever. They are a cookie fresh out of the oven with ice cream on top, and they are amazing. It is the best study break. The only bad thing about these birthdays was that I couldn’t go and visit my dog on his birthday. He lives back in my hom... (Read More)