This summer, I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in Banfield Pet Hospital’s Summer Job Program. Back in March, I was assigned to work at a clinic in Houston. The program is designed to be a mix of working as a technician and learning alongside the doctors. While I was initially concerned that the experience would be canceled due to COVID-19, everything continued as planned!
At the start of the experience, I was asked to rank my comfort level in different areas- clinical skills, communication skills, and business skills. This allowed to me to evaluate myself and think of what I wanted to get out of the program. I was able to talk with both my assigned coach doctor and the practice manager to discuss my goals- placing IV catheters, practicing drawing blood from the jugular vein, and performing physical exams. I was eager to practice the skills I learned my first year of vet school in a real clinic!
Starting day one, I was surrounded by supportive and encouraging technicians and doctors. Everyone asked what skills I wanted to hone, and were quick to say “Tabitha, come do this!”
Not only did I perform routine physical exams, but I also got to do orthopedic and neurologic exams. I also became much more confident in interpreting diagnostic tests like fecal exams and ear cytologies. I even got to scrub in on surgeries!
Getting to put everything I learned into practice this summer really enforced that I love the veterinary medicine industry. I love interacting with clients, learning new things, and working with animals with totally unique personalities. I am already looking forward to everything I will learn this coming school year.
As Thanksgiving approaches, both veterinary and biomedical sciences students can see the tiny break on the horizon and with it, the chance to escape school, eat a free meal (or multiple), and to see family.
Sometimes, however, we forget that Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have or where we are in life.
As a veterinary student who is gearing up for the end of the semester, I thought I would share what I am thankful for.
I am thankful for a small, deaf puppy who strolled into my life unexpectedly. Although having pets in vet school can be difficult (especially an 8-month-old puppy) Jameson has been an amazing stress relief I never knew I needed. From our early morning mediated walks to our Saturday dog park days, he is a small reminder to breathe.
I am thankful for the support system Texas A&M has brought me. As a student who did not go to A&M as an undergraduate, you could say I was initially worried about making new friends. However, the friends I have made here are ones that will last a lifetime. We support each other through school, remind each other we are human, and bring each other candy every once in a while.
I am thankful for the opportunities Texas A&M has brought into my life—from the professional skills lab where I can practice skills like ultrasound in order to become a better doctor, to the career fair where I get to network with future employers who said, “I was there once too, you got this!” and even my ambassador role through which I get to meet with students and share the same passion of veterinary medicine and remember why I started veterinary school.
The list could go on and on.
As we go home this Thanksgiving to enjoy a free meal or two and our time with family, I hope everyone will think about what you have to be thankful for. It just may surprise you everything that comes to mind.