The Dreaded Third-Year Cases

As third-year veterinary students, we get to enjoy doing cases each week. This is an interesting opportunity for us. It’s bittersweet because these cases are HARD! We get cases where the animals have multiple things wrong with them. Then we create differentials for what diseases could be causing each symptom. We then create a diagnostic plan on what we want to test for first and possibly start treatment. This process is how we should be thinking as doctors when we have live patients in front of us. Right now it’s good practice, but so hard because we don’t know everything and we have to research each and every case. I spend an average of 10 hours a week on a case, in addition to my classes and studying for tests.

Now this definitely sounds bitter so far, but let me explain why it’s sweet. I learn so much from each hour I spend researching diseases. Even if I rule out a certain disease for my patient, I learned so much about the disease for later in life. It is stressful. It is time consuming. But it is also totally worth it. I want to be the best vet I can be and I know that my teachers will try their hardest to teach me all they know, but I can’t learn it all in a classroom. This design teaches me how to learn outside a classroom; therefore even after I finish my four years here at Texas A&M, I can keep learning and educating myself without their help. I am thankful for the class though it has cost me many hours of sleep, time, and excess stress. But I feel more prepared for being out on my own. I won’t always know the answer, but I now have learned how to figure it out. Only one year left! My clinical year starts in only one month, I am so excited to become a fourth year and use all I have learned in the past three years with real patients.

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day

Haley's DogHappy Belated Valentine’s Day from yours truly!

Yes, yes, we all know Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday that the corporate world has created in order to sell more candy and flowers. But I mean, why not have another reason to celebrate? You may not be “in love,” but everyone has someone or something they love. This could be a pet, a family member, that special someone, or maybe the idea of having your weekend dedicated to sleep. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this blog is dedicated to those I love!

I know I couldn’t have made it as far as I have without the love of my family. They are some of the most caring people I know. We may argue and bicker about nothing, but I know they love me as much as I love them. Yours maybe an extended family, a group of friends, a roommate, but what really matters is that you tell them this season how much you appreciate and love them for just being themselves.

Of course, being the animal lover I am, I have to talk about my own dog. My sweet puppy Marshall was born on Valentine’s Day three years ago. I know, he’s not exactly a puppy anymore, but I like to think he is. What I love about dogs is that they love you unconditionally! Whether you are in a bad mood, or stressed, they love you; you are their world. He has been my practice pet all through these three years of vet school and still loves me: now that’s commitment!

Finally, I have to mention, this will be my last Valentine’s Day as a Loftis. Next year I will be married to the man of my dreams. It’s funny I came to veterinary school to learn about medicine, and somehow also found someone in my class to love me the rest of my life. Its funny how life throws you curve balls when you least expect it. But sometimes you just have to go with it!

In conclusion, the moral of this blog is, “Go tell that special person you love them.” Celebrate what is truly important in your life.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Haley's Dog