Second Year, Second Semester

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.

Happy New (School) Year

This is it! What the DVM Class of 2018 has been waiting for: our official transition to the second year of vet school. On Monday, we started our first day of classes as 2VMs. We are no longer newbies–well, to vet school, anyway! Still, even after a full year of the veterinary curriculum, we are major newbies to vet medicine. There is so much left to learn in just a short three more years. This semester alone, we’ve got pharmacology, pathology, nutrition, medical Spanish, parasitology, and the various labs associated with those courses. What a list! Though a little daunting, I can’t wait to dive into these subjects (and more) to start gaining a better understanding of clinical veterinary medicine, and, coincidentally, kiss the anatomy lab goodbye for a good, long while.

It’s only the first week, but it feels already like the vet school is a different planet than it was last year. Compared to this time last August, I see so many more familiar faces, have so much more knowledge and skills than I did before, and have such a better idea of what to expect from the curriculum. How clear things are now that they aren’t clouded by the stress, or excitement (depending on how you look at things), of “newness”! This year, instead of the foundational work of the first year (anatomy, physiology, the “normal” body), we start to build on our knowledge and delve into, finally, the “abnormal” body. This year we learn about abnormal tissues in pathology, about disease conditions related to parasites in parasitology, and even about drug therapy and treatment options for common problems we may see in practice in our pharmacology class. Those are only three of the classes we’re taking this year, and certainly the rest are just as valuable, but would take longer to list out. What a great semester it’s going to be!

Already, I feel excited and re-inspired on my path to becoming a veterinarian. Not to be ignored is the fact that I get to continue my education at the newly named 3rd best vet school in the nation and 6th best vet school in the world. That’s right, folks, here at A&M, we’ve got the very best of the very best. So, while it’s hot and humid and not much fun to be outside here in College Station now, I’ll be happy inside the classrooms and study rooms of this great school again, and I’ll be looking forward to what I’ll learn this time around. Bring it on, second year! This future DVM is ready to go!