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 convincingmyself that I know what I’m doing rather than teaching, but we are well on our way to doing that too!
Another thing this year has brought about is the kind of thinking that allows us to be better able to choose a career path, and in fact, we have had several lectures about possible careers. This semester we even get to pick more specific, career-inclined electives that we will take in our third year. It is an exciting time, but also a scary one, as we start to make decisions based on real life, rather than just academic ones. I’ve had so many conversations with friends and colleagues about what we are interested in, and what we want to become, but only now do these things seem real.
I am so excited to be able to share these kinds of things with people who will one day be my colleagues, and I can’t wait for next year to bring even more experiences with different kinds of medicine. Even if the electives I take rule-out careers I am not interested in, I am excited to be able to learn more about the different animals I may be working with out in practice, or research, or otherwise in some way.
Overall, second year has been quite an experience, and even though our crazy every-Monday-every-Friday test schedule is only just beginning, I am so excited to see what else this year will have in store.