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!
In the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, we are committed to the success of each individual who enters our program.
We have many programs implemented to ensure that our first-year veterinary students, especially, feel welcomed and engaged starting even before they arrive on campus.
I have the unique opportunity as the vice president of the Class of 2022 to oversee the Mentor/Mentee, or M&M, Program. This is a program in which second-year veterinary students volunteer to serve as mentors for first-year students.
The program is very informal and is meant to give participating first years a chance to meet another student who had made it through the first year of veterinary school and can give meaningful advice.
Often a mentor is simply a friendly face in the sea of unknown that students often find themselves in that first semester.
The program involves typically a cookout, a few “good luck” gifts throughout the semester, and an encouraging message every now and then.
This past week, we had a M&M Pizza Party in which all of the mentors and mentees were given pizza and a set aside lunch hour to just chat.
After helping serve the pizza, I walked outside and was blown away by the incredible community I could see happening around me. Students were supporting one another, giving advice, asking questions, and just enjoying one another’s company.
Veterinary school is a unique environment because everyone around you is not just a classmate but a future colleague.
The connections we make in veterinary school don’t end when we cross that stage or move out of College Station; they will follow us throughout our careers. We are together in this place to learn from one another and to build a solid foundation on which to continue building this incredible profession.