One of the best things about third year is getting to choose our electives! Veterinary students are required to take 14 hours of electives by the end of our third year, in addition to our 14-plus hours of core classes per semester. The electives are one to two credit hours, with smaller class sizes ranging from 12-80 people. This means that we get to take a variety of electives and learn more about the specific topics that we’re interested in, in a smaller setting and with more hands-on learning.
I’m currently taking the “Oncology” elective, in which I’m learning more about common tumor types and cancer treatments. I will also be taking the “Dermatology,” “Exotic Hoofstock,” “Avian Medicine,” and “Cardiology” electives this semester. I’m particularly excited about some of the electives that I will be taking in the spring, including “Small Animal Behavior,” “Dentistry,” “Diseases of Swine,” “Feline Medicine,” and “Preventative Medicine.” I’m grateful for the opportunity to take such a wide variety of electives to learn more about interesting topics that cannot always be covered in-depth in the core classes and to become more familiar with the clinicians and residents that I will work with during my fourth year.
Our core classes for this semester include “Small Animal Medicine,” “Large Animal Medicine,” “Radiology,” “Junior Surgery,” and “Correlates.” I’m excited to take all of the information I’ve learned from first and second year and apply it to the big picture of our small- and large-animal medicine courses this year to learn how to treat our veterinary patients and “think more like a doctor.” So far, I’m enjoying “Small Animal Medicine” the most and look forward to learning more about common diseases and pathologic conditions in small animals and how to treat them.
We also have a few clinic days each semester, during which we get to work with the fourth-years, residents, interns, and clinicians on different services in the Small or Large Animal Hospitals. This semester, I’ve already shadowed in the “Neurology” and “General Surgery” services. I’ve enjoyed these clinic days; I feel that they’ve helped me better navigate the Small Animal Hospital and get a feel for how fourth year will be, in addition to learning from some cool cases!
I’m excited for all that I will learn this year! I know that my electives and clinical rotations, in addition to our core classes, will help prepare me for fourth year, which is only a short nine months away! This year will fly by, and I will do my best to soak up every minute of fun and learning from it!