Wow! This semester has just flown by! It seems like I just started classes again, but, instead, I just completed my finals.
In my last block for the semester, I took two electives, “Clinical Pathology” and “Emergency Medicine.” Clinical pathology is understanding disease processes and how they commonly present themselves using diagnostic tests such as blood work or cytology. Knowing how often veterinarians in practice read bloodwork, I was excited to be able to practice those skills and increase my confidence level before my fourth year. Emergency medicine was great because it helped me create a plan for the worst outcome, in hopes of saving lives. Having a basic idea of what to do in emergency situations helps give you a framework and the confidence to face those challenging cases head on. I have really enjoyed my electives this semester because I love how clinically relevant they are and how much they are preparing me for not only fourth year, but when I am out in a regular, practice setting.
Also during my last block was the Veterinary Job and Externship Fair. The Dean’s Office is great at making sure we are given a ton of opportunities to meet veterinarians and find great places to work for summer jobs, fourth-year externships, or even potential future employment! The fourth year of vet school is the clinical year, which means you work at the Small and Large Animal Hospitals to get tons of on-the-job training from the clinicians who work there full time. However, we are not confined to just one hospital for training; we also do externships for two weeks at a time at other veterinary clinics. I found one externship in New Braunfels, but I need to find another clinic to work during my fourth year, so this job and externship fair was a great way for me to do it.
While I have been able to do some hands-on and exciting things this semester, I still have a lot to look forward to during winter break, not only because I get to see my family and get some much needed rest, but also because I have an elective over the break at a clinic in Seguin, where I will focus on the client-communication aspects of veterinary medicine, as well as hone some basic veterinary skills. A veterinarian will be my mentor and will help me work through cases and put all of my lecture knowledge to good use. This winter break elective counts toward the total amount of elective hours I need to fulfill my veterinary degree, so the veterinarian at the clinic will evaluate my progress and send it back to Texas A&M.
There were so many fun and important things happening at the end of this semester and more that will happen over winter break. I am excited to be a part of it all!