Final Days as a 3VM

One month stands between my classmates and I and the first day of our fourth and final year at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). It almost feels surreal; however, I know this is a day we have been anxiously awaiting since we found out we had been accepted into the program. It is a dream come true to finally be facing this day and everything that comes along with it. We will now be treated as doctors and—even scarier—be expected to act like one!

As third year is coming to an end, I can’t help but feel somewhat scared. It’s always nerve-racking making a big change, and this is no exception. While the first three years have been filled with countless hours of lectures and studying, they have also given me the chance to make some of my best friends. I will truly miss our time together as we now go our separate ways and on our own paths.

It also saddens me to be leaving my position as an ambassador for the college. It has been an unbelievable experience and an amazing way to get plugged into the CVM community! I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and become great friends with some of my fellow colleagues. It truly made my experience here as a veterinary student even more special! Thank you to everyone who has followed along with my blog posts and been a part of this journey with me!

Day at the Zoo

As the beginning of the spring semester starts, I can’t help but realize this is my last semester of school ever! In four short months my classmates and I will have moved on to our clinical rotations and our fourth year of veterinary school! It is terrifying and exciting at the same time, but I know we will be prepared for the transition when the time comes.

Part of our third year curriculum that prepares us for this big move is the time we spend once a week at various services in the small or large animal hospitals. This week I was on the zoo medicine service, and we were able to take a field trip to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX. The other students and I were able to work close up with three rhinoceroses and gain hands-on experience, learning what it’s like to be the only veterinarian for an entire zoo of animals! We were then able to walk the rest of the park and take in the amazing scenery and other wildlife.

The beautiful day spent in Waco reminded me that the long days of school leading up to becoming a doctor will all be worth it in the end. It is so important to constantly remind ourselves to find the joy in our daily lives and this will eventually get us to our lifelong dreams of becoming veterinarians!

The Transition

The third year of vet school signifies the transition from academics to clinical veterinary medicine. This was officially celebrated at the white coat ceremony held at the end of our second year.

This year my class has started participating in small and large animal medicine courses, a case-based course known as correlates, and junior surgery. The days of sitting in lecture from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. straight are over, and we finally get to put our studies to use with hands-on interactions with animals and clinicians. It has been a very busy but exciting semester thus far. We have learned how to perform dental and ophthalmic exams as well as how to assess lameness in our large animal species and how to perform on endoscopy in a horse.

Junior surgery is a main component of life as a 3VM. We are able to focus on improving our surgical technique of suturing and handling tissue, maintaining sterility throughout procedures, and learning the ins-and-outs of anesthesia. Thus far, we have learned to perform numerous procedures such as: abdominal exploratory surgeries, spleen/kidney removals, and an intestinal resection and anastomosis. At the end of the semester we will get to use everything we have learned over the previous seven surgery labs in order to perform a spay or neuter on a shelter animal from the Bryan/College Station area.

These learning experiences are invaluable and are helping to transition us into spending our entire fourth year in the small and large animal clinics becoming doctors. I am so excited for that day to come and am looking forward to all the future experience I will gain this year as a 3VM!