As usual, this semester has been busy, busy, busy. We second years have had four weeks of Monday and Friday exams and have just returned to College Station after our spring break vacation. I went home to Austin for several days during the break to visit friends and family. Upon returning to vet school, my mind cannot help but wander to this summer and everything it has in store.
In the midst of our exams, I found out that I had been accepted into the Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Training Program (VMSRTP) here at Texas A&M. The VMSRTP allows veterinary students to conduct full-time research under the direction of a faculty mentor of their choosing. During their time in the program, students will not only conduct research, but also go on field trips, attend lunch seminars, and present their findings at a research conference. This 13-week long program provides first and second year veterinary students with little to no prior research experience a chance at hands-on learning from experts in a large variety of fields of veterinary study.
My project will consist of looking into treatment options for a disease in Texas rortoises under the supervision of Dr. Jill Heatley. I am especially interested in this project because of the scarcity of research in exotic animal medicine. After attending Exotics Con and searching for at least 20 references to use as a starting point for our research, I realized just how few articles there are about exotic animal medicine. This is especially true for reptiles. Once I receive my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), I want to add to scientific literature about reptile medicine as well as other areas of veterinary medicine.
But, in order to get that DVM, I must persevere to the end of the semester. At least I know that my summer will be full of learning and fun!