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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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Second Year, Second Semester

Second Year, Second Semester Despite our qualifiers (first-, second-, third-, fourth-years), each semester presents for us new challenges, new concepts, and frankly, still a lot of “firsts.” This year is no different. As a second-year student in my second semester, I finally feel that the things I’ve learned in other semesters are coming together to really mean something in medicine. This semester is still all classroom work (with the occasional hands-on lab opportunity or club meeting), but the information now is more about application of medicine rather than blanket memorization of parts of the body, parasites, physiologic or pharmacologic facts, or any other kind of scientific knowledge we’ve crammed into our brains in just this short amount of time. Because of this, I finally feel able to speak about veterinary medicine in an authoritative way—more in the way of convincing myself that I know what I’m doing rather than teaching, but we are well on our way to doing that ... (Read More)

Externships

Externships Becoming a veterinarian is hard work. The path from high school to veterinary school is arduous and has become increasingly competitive. Aspiring future veterinarians often leave high school with a goal in mind and over the next four years, work tirelessly during their undergraduate career to prove to admission committees that they are worthy of a highly coveted spot in their prestigious veterinary school. Once you are accepted into veterinary school, the hard work has really just begun. Now, students are faced with a daily onslaught of copious amounts of highly technical information to master. Students take 21-35 credit hours per semester, and every single one of these classes are challenging. In veterinary school, there is NO such thing as a blow-off class. To make matters more challenging, students interested in focusing their career on certain animal species or certain medical specialties must compete for a limited number of highly coveted ... (Read More)

Something Familiar

Something Familiar Second semester of first year is well underway, now that our class has completed three exams. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of a renal nephron or all of the different strains of E. coli that can cause disease in domestic animals. But, some of the best moments of the day come about when a classmate who can talk you through a mind-boggling neurology concept is suddenly stumped when you describe to them the difference between a chestnut and a bay horse. To be perfectly honest, equine terminology can be a little out-there for people without that background. I certainly haven’t yet learned all there is to know about food animal breeds and colors—although that exam is just around the corner! But, the beauty of veterinary school is that all kinds of students come in with a variety of experiences with different species and specialty interests. Together we guide our peers through the learning curve associated with each topic and ultimately... (Read More)

Electives—do what you want!

Electives—do what you want! One of the great things about third year is the ability to choose your electives. Very interested in horses? There are many equine electives for you. Love pocket pets? There are electives for you. Excited about emergency medicine? They have an elective for you. One of my passions is behavior, and currently I am taking the Small Animal Behavior elective with Dr. Bonnie Beaver DVM, MS, DPNAP, DACVB. This course builds on the knowledge gained during the required first-year course on normal animal behavior. We learned about the importance of differentiating behavior and medical problems. We discussed management and behavior modification involved in common behavioral issues. We have also learned about neurotransmitters and some common drugs and their intended uses. At the end of our course, we had a choice to either create some informational brochures or train an animal to do something and make a video. Easy choice for me, let’s train an animal! ... (Read More)

A Semester Full of Science

A Semester Full of Science It is only the third week of this new spring semester, but I can already tell that it’s going to be an enjoyable semester for me. I am finally finished taking all of the “101”s and the “introduction to” classes and have started taking classes that are on what I consider more interesting sciences. This semester I am enrolled in biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, and an animal science course. I used to work in a diagnostics lab during my first two years of college, so I have experience working around bacteria and know my way around a plate of agar. I am extremely excited to be able to learn more in-depth information about all the bacteria I used to handle on a daily basis. In high school, I realized I had a huge interest in genetics when I learned about it in biology class, so I am beyond ready to learn more about genes in college. Most of the people I have talked to rave about biochemistry. Apparently, this is the course that finally pie... (Read More)

First Year of Veterinary School–Take Two

First Year of Veterinary School–Take Two At the end of a crazy first semester at veterinary school I promised myself I’d be more on top of things. I’d fill out my planner, look over all my notes the night after the lecture, and never have to panic before a major exam. Then the first day of second semester happened, and that all went out the window. It’s only been two weeks, but the sheer amount of information that we are learning is staggering. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day. But, even though I’ve had to come to terms with the fact I will never be on top of things, I do feel I have the skills to tackle this semester. And the fact that what I’m learning still manages to excite me is reassuring—even if it first takes a couple cups of coffee some days. My favorite part of veterinary school is when we have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with animals or simulations. The Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP) had a wet ... (Read More)

New Semester, One Step Closer to My Aggie Ring

New Semester, One Step Closer to My Aggie Ring As the new semester begins I'm excited to begin my classes and have a fresh start. It's hard to believe that in just three semesters I'll be graduating and applying to veterinary school. While graduation can be the most exciting thing for some people, I'm even more excited about something else. After five semesters I finally have enough hours to order my Fightin’ Texas Aggie Ring! The Aggie ring is a very symbolic tradition at Texas A&M and can only be EARNED after successfully completing 90 hours. The ring is worn with the year facing the student until they graduate, then it is turned to face the world at graduation. I have heard many stories and seen countless examples of conversations and friendships developing after noticing the Aggie ring, even across the world. On Ring Day, thousands of Aggies receive their ring as their families look on. I have worked very hard to reach this point, which represents a huge step in my academic caree... (Read More)

Day at the Zoo

Day at the Zoo As the beginning of the spring semester starts, I can’t help but realize this is my last semester of school ever! In four short months my classmates and I will have moved on to our clinical rotations and our fourth year of veterinary school! It is terrifying and exciting at the same time, but I know we will be prepared for the transition when the time comes. Part of our third year curriculum that prepares us for this big move is the time we spend once a week at various services in the small or large animal hospitals. This week I was on the zoo medicine service, and we were able to take a field trip to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX. The other students and I were able to work close up with three rhinoceroses and gain hands-on experience, learning what it’s like to be the only veterinarian for an entire zoo of animals! We were then able to walk the rest of the park and take in the amazing scenery and other wildlife. The beautiful day spent in... (Read More)

Junior Surgery

Junior Surgery My favorite class last semester was junior surgery. We were split into groups of three, and each of us were able to perform a spay or neuter on local shelter dogs or cats. The surgeon had to take care of their patient for a week, which made it very hard not to get attached to your patient. My patient was a sweet little chiweenie named, Barda. I got to perform a spay on her with the help of my awesome surgery group members, Blair McCurdy and Betsy Helbing. Once the surgery was over, I immediately called the animal shelter to see if she was available to adopt. Unfortunately, there was a family ahead of me to adopt her. I was happy that Barda was going to be adopted, but I was also devastated that I could not keep her. The last day of taking care of her was so sad because I didn’t think I would ever see her again (picture on left). However, the animal shelter called me a few days later saying the people who were going to adopt Barda fell through. ... (Read More)

A New Opportunity

A New Opportunity It seems like the fall semester just began, yet here we are at the beginning of a new semester. To my fellow students: whether the last semester was your best or your worst, you should be excited for the blank canvas in front of us both. I hope I’m not alone in feeling that last semester blew right past me at whirlwind speed. That being said, it’s exciting to think about how I’m starting my second half of my second year at Texas A&M. I am excited to start my second half of my journey here. The idea of getting my Aggie ring is also one that excites me, and a new semester means I’m one step closer to that. As we all start the new semester, I believe we should remember a few things that will hopefully lead to success. 1)   Get a good night’s sleep. It’s amazing what something as simple as getting a good amount of rest can do for you. 2)   Eat a good breakfast. I know this sounds cliché and may not be for everyone, but ... (Read More)