The third year of vet school signifies the transition from academics to clinical veterinary medicine. This was officially celebrated at the white coat ceremony held at the end of our second year.
This year my class has started participating in small and large animal medicine courses, a case-based course known as correlates, and junior surgery. The days of sitting in lecture from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. straight are over, and we finally get to put our studies to use with hands-on interactions with animals and clinicians. It has been a very busy but exciting semester thus far. We have learned how to perform dental and ophthalmic exams as well as how to assess lameness in our large animal species and how to perform on endoscopy in a horse.
Junior surgery is a main component of life as a 3VM. We are able to focus on improving our surgical technique of suturing and handling tissue, maintaining sterility throughout procedures, and learning the ins-and-outs of anesthesia. Thus far, we have learned to perform numerous procedures such as: abdominal exploratory surgeries, spleen/kidney removals, and an intestinal resection and anastomosis. At the end of the semester we will get to use everything we have learned over the previous seven surgery labs in order to perform a spay or neuter on a shelter animal from the Bryan/College Station area.
These learning experiences are invaluable and are helping to transition us into spending our entire fourth year in the small and large animal clinics becoming doctors. I am so excited for that day to come and am looking forward to all the future experience I will gain this year as a 3VM!