Halfway Point

Today begins the ninth week of class, which means that the semester is now half over! This first semester of my second year seems to have flown by so far, faster than both of my first year semesters ever did. So, I’ve stopped to think about why that is. Is it because I’m finally acclimated to the workload of veterinary school? Or is it that I’ve hit my stride with this semester’s schedule? Or maybe it’s because I’m enjoying this semester’s classes more? It’s most likely a combination of all of these things.

My classes this semester include pathology, pharmacology, parasitology, nutrition, and clinical correlates. I find these classes to be more interesting than first-year classes were and can see the clinical relevance coming into play more often during class.

Pathology is probably my favorite class thus far, because we learn about many of the fascinating disease processes that we will see all the time in practice. It’s interesting to learn about the many different things that can go wrong in the body, and it makes me appreciate that the body functions properly most of the time.

Clinical correlates is also a lot of fun because we have opportunities during the semester to work on our physical exam and animal handling skills with horses, goats, reptiles, and birds. It is always nice to have time to practice those skills and be reminded why we are in veterinary school: to interact with and treat animals. Correlates has also allowed us opportunities to participate in ultrasound and suture skills labs, and it has enabled us to sharpen our communication skills in a variety of ways. For example, we’ve had the opportunity to learn some medical Spanish from Spanish-speaking members of the hospital staff, as well as the Spanish veterinary exchange students that were on externship at Texas A&M this year. This semester has also provided more opportunities to enhance our critical thinking skills in a clinical setting, as we have had case-based discussions during pharmacology class to further review the drugs that we are learning about.

By my estimations, I’ve already learned approximately 200 drugs, 250 parasites of veterinary importance, and over 100 disease processes at just nine weeks into the semester, and I know that the second half of the semester will be just as packed with knowledge! It is amazing to think about how much we can learn in just 16 short weeks!

As I think about the eight weeks left in this semester, I look forward to learning more, but also look forward to the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks! Veterinary school is a whirlwind, and I feel as though I am constantly in motion. So, the time spent relaxing with my family and slowing down for a bit will be restorative, and will help to keep my mind fresh for more learning to come! Veterinary school is a crazy ride. It is a challenging, exhausting, and exciting experience that is unlike anything else, but I am learning so many amazing things every day and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.