Here Come the Vets, All Dressed in White (Coats)

My second year is already about to end and reality is setting in that I will be starting clinics in the near future!

Jane V.This Friday we are having our White Coat Ceremony. Unlike a lot of professional programs in which students get their white coats within the first year, or before, they start school, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences has students wait until the end of their second year to receive their white doctor’s coats.

I have been to several of my friends’ White Coat Ceremonies, but now it is finally time for me. I feel like I can appreciate it even more now than I would have at the beginning of the school year.

I thought I had worked hard before veterinary school just to be admitted, but that was nothing compared to veterinary school itself. Surviving two years has been no easy feat, so it is exciting to have something tangible to celebrate as our second year comes to a close.

What is almost just as exciting is that we were able to work with our faculty to reschedule our Friday classes, so we could take the ENTIRE day off to spend with our loved ones. I am so excited for my family and friends to come to College Station for this milestone in my life.

The cherry on top is that we do not have a test the following Monday! It is definitely a much-welcomed break after the slew of tests and before the onslaught of finals.

Then, just a month from now, it will be time for my last summer vacation ever! It is all going by so quickly!

For now, I will settle on putting on my white coat and looking like a veterinarian and then in just two years, I will finally get to put on that white coat and be Dr. Varkey.

Having Fun in Second Year

Caitlin with her friends
Caitlin (far right) and her friends at this year’s Fur Ball, an annual formal event for veterinary students

I am in my second year of veterinary school, and I have to say that this semester has been so fun! I think that it has even been my favorite so far.

This semester, we have been learning how to do surgery and anesthesia, while also learning how to interpret radiographs. In previous semesters, I have seen the clinical significance of what we are doing, but this semester, it is even more apparent.

One of the neat things about class is that we have been getting to use what are called syndavers to simulate surgery. They are these very realistic, synthetic models that allow us to perform many different abdominal procedures and get practice suturing.

In “surgery,” we are split into groups of three students, and each week we have a different surgery to learn how to perform. I am really grateful for the dedication that our professors and school have to helping us learn.

As if learning more about being a veterinarian isn’t enough, we also get our white coats in April! That is something to look forward to, because it feels like I have hit a milestone once I get my white coat. It technically signifies the beginning of our experience in the hospitals at Texas A&M, but, even more excitingly, it marks the almost halfway point of veterinary school.

As I think about my time as an undergraduate, I recall how I couldn’t even imagine getting into veterinary school, so now that I am almost halfway done, it is kind of surreal.

I don’t really know what to expect from the final two years of school, but if it is anything like the first two, I think that I will like them a lot.

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!

Halfway There!

Rebecca in her white coat with family
Rebecca (third from the right) and her family, who flew in from California for the White Coat Ceremony on Friday

This past Friday, April 13, my fellow second-year veterinary students and I received our white coats! The White Coat Ceremony is a much-anticipated tradition that celebrates our “transition from classroom study to clinical work.” During the ceremony, our faculty mentors presented us with our coats as our loved ones proudly cheered. For some neat history of the White Coat Ceremony here at Texas A&M University, I encourage you to check out this link.

Receiving our white coats marks the halfway point of our veterinary school career. It’s absolutely crazy to think that I have already reached this point in my education. Looking back on the past eight years since I graduated from high school…yikes, what a journey! Veterinary school, and the path to getting here, has certainly held its fair share of challenges. Despite still having two more years to go, I can FINALLY see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel so close to realizing my dream of becoming a dairy vet!All of my wonderful family flew out to College Station from California for the occasion. There is no doubt that I have been able to make it to this point thanks, in huge part, to their endless support and encouragement of my DVM pursuit, and it was so nice to take a break from school for a few days to enjoy having all of them here with me in town.

As a CVM ambassador, I love sharing this with prospective students who come to visit and tour the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. I understand how daunting eight years of schooling can be for a high school student interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, and I empathize with college students who are trying to make their veterinary school application as great as it can be.

So, in these conversations, my message is always the same—time flies when you’re chasing after your dream; it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. In the blink of an eye and with some hard work, they’ll be receiving their very own white coat before they know it!

Preparing for a White Coat

Brandi M.There are officially four more weeks of my second year of veterinary school! This easily has been the most challenging semester of my vet school career. And although I’m incredibly appreciative of all the information I’ve learned, I’m ready for a break.

It’s weird to think that this upcoming summer will be the last summer break of my life before I’m thrown into the adult world, with a full-time job, responsibilities, and all that jazz.

But in the meantime, I’m focusing on upcoming events like finals, summer plans, and White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat Ceremony, for the 2VMs, is next Friday (April 13)! It is a pretty big event, symbolizing our transition from the classroom to clinics, and I am SO. PUMPED.

It’s practically a graduation in the middle of our vet school career. People’s families are coming in, there will be tears and tons of photos, and also lots of traffic considering that it’ll be the same day as Ring Day on main campus. But, hey, the more the merrier right?

I’m sure we all are really looking forward to this, since we’re finishing up this aforementioned very difficult semester; the ceremony will probably feel like we’ve jumped another hurdle on a race that we’re running to become doctors.

I find it interesting that we have our White Coat Ceremony halfway through vet school, while a lot of other vet and medical schools have their ceremonies before starting school. I personally like having our ceremony halfway through, though, because I feel like I’ve worked so hard to earn this.

Maybe I’ll have a sense of achievement as I get to show off my fancy, new white coat to my family. Maybe I’m just overdramatizing this because I’m tired. Either way, I know I will be another step closer to achieving the goal I set for myself years ago—that of becoming a veterinarian.