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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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Therapy Animals

Therapy Animals I have been a member of Aggieland Pets with a Purpose (APWAP) since August 2011. This amazing volunteer organization visits schools, hospitals, Texas A&M’s library during finals, assisted living facilities, and many other places with their animals. The handler team consists of a volunteer, who is usually the pet's owner, and their evaluated and trained animal. Usually the animals are dogs, but that's not always the case—currently there is an active cat and miniature horse in our group. Harley, my miniature poodle, recently passed his APWAP certification test in August 2014. I'm often asked what makes a good therapy animal. Animals who participate in therapy must be comfortable in new places and enjoy meeting new people. They shouldn't be overly afraid of loud noises, strange movements such as a wheelchair or a walker, or being surrounded by a crowd of people. They need to be comfortable being touched and handled all over their bodies and s... (Read More)

Third year electives

Third year electives Winter break went by way too quickly! I’ve only been in classes for two weeks, and I already feel super behind. The first two years of veterinary school were similar to undergrad: you take certain classes for an entire semester, and then you have a final at the end. In third year, you have some core/mandatory classes with everyone in your class. These include small animal medicine, practice management, radiology, and correlates. Then you have electives. The core classes go though the entire semester, but the electives are only four weeks long. As a result, your schedule changes every four weeks. It’s nice because you take these mini one-hour courses and then move on to new ones within a month. The downside is that you never can really get into the normal rhythm of school. I guess it’s helpful that they’re getting us used to change, because in fourth year, we switch rotations every two weeks. This block I am in quite a few electives: echocardi... (Read More)

Weekday Ponderings

Weekday Ponderings We’re back! This break was certainly much needed, yet short lived. There are several things going on in my life, with the most pertinent at the moment being that I passed my pharmacy technician certification exam. What does this mean, you ask? This means I have a higher likelihood of being employed come graduation as I prepare to apply to medical school! I’ve been putting the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certificate Board) test off for about two years now, so to be able to finally scratch it off of my bucket list has released a heavy load from my shoulders. Now, all eyes are on the MCAT. That formidable, calculating test that has been the bane of my existence for the past year. There’s a surge of excitement that pulses through me when I think about the day I can finally say I, Michelle, am through with the MCAT. It may not come for a few months, but it WILL come! In other news, it still hasn’t really hit me that this is my last semester he... (Read More)

Change At Its Best

Change At Its Best With the fall semester complete and spring classes starting today, how can I not be excited? How goals and dreams become reality truly astounds me: from being just another BIMS student to receiving the amazing opportunity to be a BIMS ambassador; from becoming a founding father of the Theta Chi Fraternity in the fall to be preparing for spring rush for our soon-to-be Alpha pledge class, I cannot wait; with seeing my older brother on a daily basis to him doing an internship this entire semester away (which is kinda unfortunate but really proud of him for doing) is amazing. During the winter break, I visited high schools recruiting prospective Texas A&M students, many of whom were only interested in attending that other school down the road, but soon reconsidered after hearing about the traditions and incredible life of being an Aggie, which made me very happy to hear. All these turns in my life have been blessings and have brought the best ... (Read More)

Time to Spring Back into Action

Time to Spring Back into Action The spring semester has just started for veterinary students like myself, whereas the undergrad students have one more week of freedom. I am excited to start this new semester, because this is the last set of classes I will ever have to take. Also, these are mostly classes I have chosen to sign up for, things that sparked my interest at the end of last year. Even though I am taking a lot of electives, which makes for a very busy semester, I am ready to see what each and every one of them holds in store. Most of the electives are large animal oriented, which is one of the directions I plan to pursue after vet school. The first electives include swine health, bovine reproductive lab, advanced ruminant, and advanced equine classes. The swine class is only eight classes long, and each time we look at different diseases that affect every body system and the herd as a hole. In the bovine reproductive lab, I will palpate a Holstein cow by rectal palpa... (Read More)

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey Winter break has reminded me how fortunate I am to be a veterinary student at Texas A&M University. During finals, it’s difficult to remember to enjoy the journey of becoming a veterinarian. Winter break is a perfect time to relax and get excited for spring semester. Many prospective DVM students have visited Texas A&M over the holidays. It’s great to be able to share all of the things I love about our college, from our top-notch hospital to our fantastic professors, clinicians, and administration. Especially around the holidays, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences feels like one big family. Winter break is also an exciting time for the future DVM Class of 2019. I can vividly remember getting ready for the admissions interview last year, and so I really enjoyed giving tours to the interviewees when they visited this weekend. Many current veterinary students volunteer to welcome the applicants and make the inter... (Read More)

Happy New Year

Happy New Year In the days after Christmas, I know that the best place to be is with loved ones. For my break, I went home for the holidays. As I write this, the world outside is covered in white. I absolutely love the snow, and I am so glad I'm able to spend the winter in a place where it does snow, as well as spending time with my family. I get to see my two dogs, my mom's cat, and my grandmother's cat, all of which I love and miss when I'm gone. The best gift I got for Christmas was going to the movies with my sister and brother to see Into the Woods (and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it). My dad was able to take leave and come up from Honduras to be here for Christmas, and though he's leaving tomorrow, it's been great having him home for a time. The New Year is here, but I'm not really the kind of person to make New Year’s resolutions. I am satisfied with my grades from this past semester and don't need to make the basic “exercise more” resol... (Read More)

Reflections on the First Semester of Third Year

Reflections on the First Semester of Third Year Finals week has come and gone, and I have five semesters of veterinary school under my belt! Now that I'm enjoying the last winter break of my vet school career, I have time to reflect on this past semester. The third year curriculum is unique in that we transition from the first two years of studying individual areas of veterinary medicine (anatomy, physiology, parasitology) to combining all these topics into medicine courses. For example, in our small animal medicine class this semester, we integrated our knowledge of the anatomy, histology, physiology, and radiology to learn about orthopedic diseases in companion animals. After our lectures on orthopedic medicine, we had a hands-on lab in which we learned to perform an orthopedic exam on our personal pets as well as practicing splinting and bandaging techniques commonly utilized after orthopedic surgery. I was finally able to integrate all that I had learned over the course of the first two ... (Read More)

Stronger than I Thought

Stronger than I Thought The first semester of my sophomore year is done, and I can’t believe it. The semester was definitely a challenge, but I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed myself more than I could ever imagine. From becoming BIMS Ambassador to becoming an officer for the African Students Association, I have met people who have only made this semester easier. This semester taught me something about myself: I’m much stronger than I think. Even when situations looked like they were going to tear me apart or when the amount of studying made me feel like I was going to burst, I didn’t, and I’m proud and so grateful. Looking back at my first semester of freshman year, I was timid, shy, and always worried. Now, I am confident in myself and confident in my purpose. I wake up each day reminding myself that there’s a reason why I’m alive and everything that I do should be geared towards that reason. One thing that I’ve learned is that everything will be okay as long as y... (Read More)

Happy Holidays Y’all!

Happy Holidays Y’all! The holidays are finally here and Christmas is just around the corner. Honestly, it feels like we started this semester, I closed my eyes for a brief moment, and now it’s over! Veterinary school finals have come and gone and I have survived them once again…WHOOP! For me, finals week and the weeks leading up to it are always a time of simultaneous excitement and dread. There is the eager anticipation of Christmas break, which brings so many wonderful things such as seeing family, eating too much food, shopping, staying up late catching up with old friends, and perhaps my favorite activity of all: getting to sleep as much as I want! But, in order to reach this blissful state of relaxation I must traverse (what feels like) an insurmountable obstacle. Final examinations are stressful no matter what school you attend, your program of study, or the stage of your education. Vet school final examinations, though, are a beast of their own. The sheer vol... (Read More)