Finally Entering Clinics

Class Of 2019 White Coats

The Texas A&M Veterinary Class of 2019 shared a bittersweet moment last Friday afternoon as we concluded our final classroom lecture of our professional curriculum. Without a doubt, the last three didactic years have been very challenging, and I am so proud of myself and my classmates for making it to this day, as we prepare to put on our white coats and begin clinical rotations next Monday.

That said, we must get through our final exams this week and endure the endless hours of studying before reaching for that white coat. Of course, we don’t expect the studying to end this week; we have the national and state licensing examinations to start preparing for, after all.

When my rotations begin, I will start on the anesthesiology rotation, which will expose me to anesthetic management in a variety of domestic, exotic, and laboratory species. As a fourth-year student, I will be participating in all aspects of anesthetic management, from preanesthetic evaluation of the patient, selection of drugs, monitoring of patients, supporting and recovering patients from anesthesia, and learning about pain management in post-operative care.

Needless to say, I’m filled with a lot of excitement, mixed with a heavy dose of nervousness and suspense. I hope the clinic floor is ready—the Class of 2019 is on its way!

My Dog Timmy

Michelle's Dog: TimmyThis is my family dog, Timmy.

Every time I visit my parents’ home in Hurst, I can always rely on him to greet me as if I have been gone for a century when it’s really only been a week. It’s definitely cold days like these when I miss his warm dog cuddles and appreciate how my furry companion has improved my life!

Timmy somehow stumbled into my life when I was just 13 years old. A close friend of my family’s had just had a baby and were uncertain about how the puppy would do around a newborn, so they decided to surrender Timmy and offered him to our family. Worried about the time constraints and responsibilities of raising a puppy, my parents, of course, said “No!”

But, somehow, Timmy still managed to get into my duffel bag and made it home with us that same night. It took a lot of dedication and puppy-training classes for Timmy to be the good dog that he is today, but I loved growing up with him and every challenge along the way!

The thing I value the most about raising a dog is that they teach you responsibility and empathy. Caring for Timmy forced me into a position where I had to consider the needs of another living being over my own. Pets, obviously, cannot vocalize their wants and needs, and, therefore, owners must rely on their pet’s nonverbal cues to determine what to do. Growing up with Timmy, I was able to discover the importance of human-animal bond, and his existence in my life solidified my passion to become a veterinarian.

Timmy is now 15 years old and still going strong. He enjoys staying healthy with my parents through their daily walks. He has definitely lived an adventurous life and has managed to put a smile on our faces every step of the way!

Looking Forward to my Last Break

Michelle C.This upcoming Christmas break will be my last as a student, as my peers and I will be entering clinics immediately after the conclusion of the third-year veterinary curriculum. I have been meticulously planning to get the most out of the four-week break, during which I will be spending two weeks doing a veterinary externship in Dallas and the remaining time traveling with family and friends.

Externships offer students an exciting opportunity to spend two to six weeks under a direct doctor mentorship to apply the clinical skills obtained during the first three years of veterinary school and ease the transition from classroom to clinical practice. I am really looking forward to the externship experience, as I feel more confident interpreting blood work and other laboratory data than I have ever been.

Needless to say, I am also very excited to travel! My advice to all future students is that you should use your free time to travel spontaneously. Whether it is visiting distant families out of state or going on a road trip with your significant other, it will greatly enhance your soul! I definitely plan on spending a lot of time with my family this winter break, since I wont be able to visit them very often during my fourth year.

But until then, everyone is buckling down and preparing for our final exams. Stress is high, but I am grateful to have such great, supportive classmates and faculty members who are always there to help us succeed. Good luck on finals, everybody!

Wrapping Up the Semester

Right before Christmas is undeniably one of the hardest times for a student. We are caught between wearing our favorite Christmas sweaters and decorating the tree, or preparing for final exams.

As I prepare for my final exams, I can’t help but daydream about the clock hitting noon on Dec. 11—the time when first year students will have completed their first semester of veterinary school.

This semester has definitely been interesting, and I am very thankful for my professors and classmates who kept me motivated and inspired to work hard. I am excited to see what the next few years of veterinary school has in store for my peers and how much we will grow as future professionals.

I hope for everyone’s safety as they travel to see their families and friends, and for those traveling out of the country pursuing mission trips. BTHO final exams!

A New Beginning

This week officially marks the end of the first month of veterinary school for us 1VMs. I can’t believe how fast the first month has flown by! It feels like it was only last week when we anxiously arrived at orientation, excited to start the new chapter of our lives. Now, we are already facing our first wave of exams coming next week!

So, here are a few things I’ve learned about veterinary school in the past month:

  1. You learn a lot of new material every single day, and it is not easy.
  2. But, the faculty really, really, really want you to succeed.
  3. Your study habits get way better than when you were an undergraduate student—although this is not voluntary if you want to succeed.
  4. Even as a first year, you must learn how to approach everything you learn clinically.
  5. You don’t get to sleep very much.
  6. Even with all that, you are still excited to go to school every day.

Starting veterinary school definitely was a big adjustment for me, especially because I took three whole years off of school prior to entering the rigorous curriculum. I honestly feel like my brain has been reset to learn everything from the start. But, I wake up every morning feeling grateful for this opportunity to learn and the amazing support that exists between my classmates, the upperclassmen, as well as the faculty. I am very much looking forward for the next four years with such dedicated and hardworking classmates!

One month down, 44 more to go!