Another year has begun!

Chelsea selfie on a hikeAfter a refreshing summer hiking in the mountains of Colorado and spending time with my family’s ranch of animals, I road-tripped back to College Station to begin my penultimate year of the DVM program.

As third-year DVM students, my classmates and I will explore a variety of clinical subjects that will prepare us for our fourth-year hospital rotations. In addition to general medicine and diagnostic imaging courses, this semester I will be taking classes in oncology, emergency response management, cardiology, and clinical pathology. We will spend time shadowing in Texas A&M’s small and large animal referral hospitals and practice necessary clinical skills you might have seen a veterinarian perform in a clinic or the field. We also will learn about regulatory procedures a veterinarian must follow, such as the rules of administering health certificates for animal travel.

Field of horsesNext semester, I will take a variety of equine and small animal medicine courses, such as dentistry, wound management, and neurology—among many others!

Lately I’ve been thinking back to how my younger self tromped around with a passion for veterinary medicine—helping my mother dry off a newborn foal, peering over a surgery table as one of my mentor veterinarians performed an ovariohysterectomy on a cat, walking down the row of a milking parlor full of dairy cows, observing social dynamics of baboons and capuchins, learning how to restrain a parrot, performing venipuncture, and running lab work. Since then, I have expanded my skills and gained confidence in discussing animal physiology and pathology, as well as how these principles relate to the various fields of medicine.

Chelsea PuppyIt’s incredible to think that this dream is almost realized—especially when I consider the responsibilities that come with maintaining professional integrity and competency for our patients, clients, and peers.

It can feel a bit daunting at times, but I greatly look forward to building a career as a veterinarian and leaning into the journey ahead.