Vet School Online

When getting ready to leave for spring break, I was excited to have a week off of school, but also excited to come back to see my friends and get right back into studying.

Towards the end of spring break, we all receive news that classes were cancelled for the week we were supposed to return due to COVID-19. Then, a few days later we were all told that all classes would be moved online, and we would not meet in person for the rest of the semester. After that news broke, I was left wondering how my veterinary education would look like for the rest of the semester.

At first, I didn’t think much of it. I figured we would just watch the lecture online. Then it hit me that we wouldn’t be having our hands-on labs anymore.

This semester, we are taking large animal anatomy and were in the middle of dissections prior to spring break. I panicked a little bit thinking that I was going to be losing that valuable time in the lab learning hands on.

However, our anatomy professor came to the rescue. She and the other anatomy professor got to work right away making detailed videos in the lab for us to watch and learn from. Her and the rest of our professors have been wonderful in helping us as much as they can during this crazy transition to online vet school.

I have been trying to stick to my normal schedule during this whole process. But it’s a little hard to stay focused at home with my two dogs constantly wanting to play. Now, instead of spending my normal 10-minute breaks I would have in between classes talking to friends in the halls, I spend them playing with my dogs in the backyard.

This time has been challenging on everyone, everywhere. But during this time, it’s important to try and stay positive and find the joy in the little things everywhere you can.

Where has the Semester Gone?

We are just about to finish our 11th week of veterinary school, which means we only have four weeks left until finals! It feels like just last week that we were at orientation.

Veterinary school has been an endless cycle of going to class every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then going home and studying.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of information that is thrown at us each day, but it’s important to keep your eye on the “prize”—all of that information has been helping me improve and learn the skills I need to become a doctor.

Hands-on learning through “live-animal labs” have been my favorite thing in veterinary school so far because we get to apply everything we have learned in the classroom. During live-animal labs we practice skills such as learning how to listen to the heart and lungs and how to look at the eyes, ears, and mouths of dogs, cats, horses, and cows. In the spring, we will learn how to give physical exams to each of these species!

These hands-on days really help me remember why I am sitting in a classroom for eight hours every day.

Another thing that has been really helpful is semester is having a second-year mentor. Being able to reach out to someone who was in my position last year and ask them questions has been really amazing.

The mentors are there to be a person to whom you can turn and who can help answer questions you might not want to ask anyone else.

I think that it is important for all of us to take a step back at times and remind ourselves why we are here and what the end goal is—becoming a veterinarian, and we are four weeks away from being one semester closer to that goal!