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Semester Turns Down, Skills Turn Up

Brandi MillerThere are less than 20 days left of the semester! Hallelujah! The 2VM class has had a countdown since the middle of October, and I already have plans to become a permanent resident of my bed for at least a week when I get home. Maybe I’ll venture out to chat with my mom over brunch, mindlessly watch “Top Gun” with my dad for the 100th time, and bribe my brothers to go to the movies with me.

But I’m also finding myself feeling excited to go back to work for this winter break, more excited than I have been any other break. I have worked at a clinic for four years now, starting as a shadow (also known as from the bottom) and moved my way up to technician (where I now am), albeit a still-somewhat-clueless one.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that after every semester in veterinary school, I actually understand more of the things that go on in the clinic. After first semester physiology, I understood heart rhythms on EKGs and why everyone was concerned about a certain pattern. After second semester neuroanatomy, I knew how to assess the neurological status of a patient that came in with a head tilt and unequal pupils. After this semester learning about pharmacology, I’m looking forward to actually knowing what the drugs prescribed to patients do and why they are prescribed in the first place.

It’s moments like these that really put into perspective the things I’m learning in vet school. All of the hard work and long nights studying for exams that I don’t ever truly feel prepared for aren’t fruitless, and I get to showcase the things I’ve learned to the doctors and technicians who have essentially raised me through my formative veterinary-related years. I suppose that’s as much of a sign as anything that I’ve chosen the right career path for myself, since I’m not only willing but excited to endure the ocean of information that’s being metaphorically dumped on me every semester.

At the end of vet school, when I walk across that stage and hear myself called “Dr. Brandi Miller,” I can look back on the time I spent in and out of class learning, the effort I put into the skills taught in labs, and the buildings that were home to this incredible opportunity and tell myself “Veni. Vidi. Vici.”

I came. I saw. I conquered.