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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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Spring Semester Perspective

Spring Semester Perspective It is now the spring semester of my second year as a veterinary student, and for the first time in a while I am excited about my classes and the curriculum. The first year of vet school was a challenge, on so many levels, for my classmates and me. The classes are difficult and there is (what seems like) a never-ending flow of work and studying to be done, with no breaks to catch your breath and recover. Then, in the second year of vet school you start fall semester with some rather challenging classes. The schedule was far improved over that of first year, but the classes increased in difficulty almost enough to offset that extra time we had in our day. By the time I got to Christmas break last semester, I was exhausted and needed the time off. Now, I am in the spring semester of my second year and I am really enjoying my classes thus far. One particularly exciting course is my anesthesiology and surgery class. In this class, we start working o... (Read More)

Life Update

Life Update This semester will be my second as a junior in Biomedical Sciences. Classes are going extremely well so far, and I am actually looking forward to my first round of tests that will be coming up next week. As my career as a student furthers, I’ve noticed that test taking becomes less stressful and more of a challenge at which I want to excel. The one thing I try to keep in mind at the beginning of each semester is to start off strong and work hard, as it sets the standard of your work ethic for the rest of the semester. On a different note, this semester I have begun to volunteer at a local clinic where I am able to assist both the nurses and physicians with the patients. I have also decided to improve my Spanish, as I have realized how important it is to communicate with patients in a language they are more comfortable speaking. I believe improving my Spanish will be both crucial and beneficial in the work place, especially if I want to go into ... (Read More)

Second Year

Second Year So far the spring semester of my second year of veterinary school has been great! There are so many things that I get to look forward to this semester. We started anesthesiology/surgery, which is a class I have been looking forward to since I started vet school. We have already gotten to participate in exciting labs. For example, we’ve gotten to place catheters in dogs and goats, correctly pre-med dogs for anesthesia, place live dogs under anesthesia and monitor them, and give an epidural to a goat. Everything is starting to become more real now that we are moving out of the basic veterinary courses and getting closer to clinics. Every time we get to work on live animals, I am reminded of how close we are getting to becoming veterinarians. In April of this semester, my second-year class will be getting our white coats at our white coat ceremony! The ceremony is definitely going to be an encouragement before finals to keep pushing forward. After th... (Read More)

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

Happy Belated Valentine's Day Happy Belated Valentine’s Day from yours truly! Yes, yes, we all know Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday that the corporate world has created in order to sell more candy and flowers. But I mean, why not have another reason to celebrate? You may not be “in love,” but everyone has someone or something they love. This could be a pet, a family member, that special someone, or maybe the idea of having your weekend dedicated to sleep. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this blog is dedicated to those I love! I know I couldn’t have made it as far as I have without the love of my family. They are some of the most caring people I know. We may argue and bicker about nothing, but I know they love me as much as I love them. Yours maybe an extended family, a group of friends, a roommate, but what really matters is that you tell them this season how much you appreciate and love them for just being themselves. Of course, being the animal lover I am... (Read More)

4th Year is Coming

4th Year is Coming There was a huge flood of third-year veterinary students to the mailboxes on Monday because of one little blue piece of paper: our fourth year schedules. These schedules are all of the rotations that we will have for the entirety of our fourth year, from the week we start fourth year to our last week of fourth year before we graduate. As fourth years, we spend an entire calendar year in the small and large animal hospitals actually working with the clinicians, residents, and interns and really learning how to be doctors. We are responsible for our patients and work with them to come up with treatment plans for each animal. Students have the options of tracking large, small, mixed, or alternative, and our rotations reflect that. For example, if you track large, you have rotations primarily in the large animal hospital; if you track small, you have rotations primarily in the small animal hospital. We also have certain required rotations, such as ... (Read More)

How long is a semester, really?

How long is a semester, really? It’s been an entire semester since I started my veterinary career as a student at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. It feels like it’s been about three years. The difference between my attitude, confidence, and knowledge after just a few months is tremendous! Admittedly, things were difficult last semester. As someone who came into the vet school class having not been a science major in undergrad, I had a lot of adjusting to do. For one, I wasn’t used to taking 18+ hours worth of straight science classes in any one semester. I wasn’t used to having to study for hours and hours, or to having two, three, or four, tests and quizzes in a week’s span (sometimes two weeks, if we were lucky). I wasn’t used to treating life as cumulative, rather than simply final exams. So, yes, it was a struggle. But, I made it through stronger and more knowledgeable than ever. Vet school is truly a life-changing expe... (Read More)

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)