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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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Archive for tag: 3VM

Receiving Our Fourth-Year Schedules

Receiving Our Fourth-Year Schedules Last week we received our fourth-year clinical rotation schedules! During your fourth year of veterinary school, you complete 24, two-week clinical rotations throughout the different services in the Small and Large Animal Hospitals and have some time set aside throughout the year for externships and vacation. We third-year students selected our tracks (small animal, large animal, mixed animal, food animal, or alternative) back in November and ranked our preferences for some of the services in the Small and Large Animal Hospitals. Needless to say, we’ve all been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our rotation schedules for the past three months! As soon as we got the email that our rotation schedules were in our mailboxes, most of my classmates excitedly ran over to get our schedules and immediately started comparing them to see which rotations we may have together. The whole class was abuzz with excitement! To be honest, I could barely pay attention in class the... (Read More)

Planning for the Future

Planning for the Future Well, I made it to my last semester before entering my fourth year of vet school, when I will be completing my clinical rotations in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but now, the real future planning starts. I am amazed at how much A&M is preparing us for our future. They put a lot of effort into providing us with resources and opportunities to grow in our profession and graduate confident in that knowledge. This semester started with a choice of which prep course to get for the NAVLE. The NAVLE is the exam you have to take in your fourth year of vet school to become a licensed veterinarian. I will be taking the NAVLE in November or December of this year. In order to quickly be able to review everything we have learned during our vet school journey, we sign up for online prep courses that guide us through important topics. I just signed up for one of the prep courses, and it’s now becoming real just how c... (Read More)

Food Animal Fun

Food Animal Fun In February, Texas A&M hosted its annual Food Animal Wet Lab, an event designed to give students exposure to all sorts of food animal medicine techniques and topics we don’t always cover in enough detail in class. Because my main career focus is working with beef cattle and other livestock after graduation, this event is always a great time for me! I learned about castrating calves, giving epidurals, and performing C-sections, all of which can be the bread-and-butter of a food animal vet’s practice. Even though I’ve known I want to practice in this field of veterinary medicine for a long time, it’s fun to see my classmates from all walks of life getting involved, too. Even if you plan to be a bird vet or a radiologist, who doesn’t love to play around with animals and learn from our knowledgeable and entertaining professors? Plus, you never know when a great experience may change your career goals for the better (and, yes, that is a shamel... (Read More)

My Dog Timmy

My Dog Timmy This is my family dog, Timmy. Every time I visit my parents' home in Hurst, I can always rely on him to greet me as if I have been gone for a century when it’s really only been a week. It’s definitely cold days like these when I miss his warm dog cuddles and appreciate how my furry companion has improved my life! Timmy somehow stumbled into my life when I was just 13 years old. A close friend of my family's had just had a baby and were uncertain about how the puppy would do around a newborn, so they decided to surrender Timmy and offered him to our family. Worried about the time constraints and responsibilities of raising a puppy, my parents, of course, said "No!" But, somehow, Timmy still managed to get into my duffel bag and made it home with us that same night. It took a lot of dedication and puppy-training classes for Timmy to be the good dog that he is today, but I loved growing up with him and every challenge along the way! The th... (Read More)

Tracking Food Animal

Tracking Food Animal Now that Christmas break has come and gone and we are now back at school this week for spring semester, I am finally in the homestretch of my path of becoming a veterinarian. After my spring semester finals, I will be going straight into my clinical year this May. During our clinical year, each student takes a core set of rotations in both the small and large animal hospitals, since as veterinarians we are licensed to work on all species. But for the remaining rotations, we get to pick a track that most closely follows what we are interested in doing once we graduate. I want to work primarily with dairy cattle, so before break I chose the food animal track. I will spend several rotations in the Food Animal Department, where they treat food and fiber animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, pigs, and even the occasional camel. I then have the opportunity to conduct externships that will give me more experience in my chosen field. ... (Read More)

Looking Back and Ahead

Looking Back and Ahead 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 yea... (Read More)

Terra, the 'Service Dog'

Terra, the 'Service Dog' Recently, I was able to bring my dog, Terra, to school! That is one of the perks of being a veterinary student—sometimes we get to all bring our pets to class. Mikaela and Terra We needed her for our orthopedics laboratory, in which we were learning to do a proper orthopedic exam and how to apply a splint. Nothing beats the real thing when it comes to practicing, and Terra was a willing patient (for a lot of treats). We started out by just watching her walk in a straight line from the front, back, and sides to see her gait and how she moves. This can help you identify if there is a lame leg and which one it could be. Then you do the same thing at a jog. After that, we do a standing exam and you feel over all the joints for anything that is out of the ordinary. It is important to feel both sides at the same time to compare the two sides. Following the standing exam, Terra got to lay down and we went through all the ranges of moti... (Read More)

Finals, Coffee, and Bears—Oh my!

Finals, Coffee, and Bears—Oh my! Finals week is upon us! There is truly nothing like a finals week in veterinary school, where it seems you learn an entire semester in one night! There is so much to remember and never enough time, so you are forced to learn as much as you can, do your best, and still be satisfied with never knowing all of the information. Third-year vet students are lucky and only have three finals this year—but they are all worth a LOT of points, so they cannot be taken lightly. The first final exam is in "Large Animal Medicine," over 29 hours worth of lectures. No pressure, right?! Our second exam is in "Small Animal Medicine" and ranges from placing external fixators on bones to how to tell if a female dog is pregnant. Our third exam is over "Radiology," and since it is cumulative, we have to study things from all the way back in August. Finals week and veterinary students are like hibernating bears and winter. We stock up on food and supplies, wear our... (Read More)

Looking Forward to my Last Break

Looking Forward to my Last Break This upcoming Christmas break will be my last as a student, as my peers and I will be entering clinics immediately after the conclusion of the third-year veterinary curriculum. I have been meticulously planning to get the most out of the four-week break, during which I will be spending two weeks doing a veterinary externship in Dallas and the remaining time traveling with family and friends. Externships offer students an exciting opportunity to spend two to six weeks under a direct doctor mentorship to apply the clinical skills obtained during the first three years of veterinary school and ease the transition from classroom to clinical practice. I am really looking forward to the externship experience, as I feel more confident interpreting blood work and other laboratory data than I have ever been. Needless to say, I am also very excited to travel! My advice to all future students is that you should use your free time to travel spontaneously... (Read More)

Learning through Labs

Learning through Labs After the gauntlet of the first two years of veterinary school, it really is nice to experience some of the perks of third year. We get to put a lot of what we learned our first two years of school into use, especially during our lab periods. Just this past week, our Small Animal Medicine class had us practicing a procedure called a pericardiocentesis, a procedure that involves inserting a needle through the body wall and into the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart, so that the fluid can be drained. This may be necessary in certain patients to remove excess fluid to make them feel better and also so that the fluid can be tested to determine what may be causing the patient’s problem. My class was able to practice this on some pretty cool models that simulate how it will feel to perform the procedure in a live patient one day. We previously had several large-animal labs. My favorite was the ophthalmology lab, which gave us practice in ... (Read More)