Friday, May 29, 2009

First Week as a Lab Animal Veterinary Intern

My first week at NIH National Cancer Institute as a SCRTA (which=intern, but they love acronyms there) was pretty spectacular despite getting up around 6:15 every morning.

All of the veterinarians I am working with are patient, knowledgeable, and nice. It is a very welcoming learning environment. Instead of feeling like I am in their way, they have made me feel very comfortable and excited to learn. I completed my medical evaluation and training by the end of Wednesday and performed my first sugeries ever on lab mice. I began practicing a vasectomy technique I will be using for my summer reasearch project on analgesia/anesthesia and post-op pain management. I am very excited about this project and the surgerical experience I will be getting.

Today I shadowed a lab vet's rounds with mice, frogs, and rabbits and helped perform health checks on the mice. I also got to practice an intrafemoral bone marrow injection technique that is growing in popularity with stem cell research.

I ended the week on a high note meeting with the primate veterinarian on her goals for the summer. I will be doing some research for the staff on different topics, devise new enrichm,ent ideas, play with some of the more "bored" primates, perform intubation, shadow surgery, blood collection and physical exams, and work up some cases.

It is looking like a busy, but very meaningful and educational summer!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back from the Missing

So I may have left some awesome readers hanging and I apologize. When I last wrote I was about to take my last exam of second year. Now I am officially a 3rd year! Also, have officially been in California for 5 days and loving it.

Matt and I toured all over Beverly Hills, Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, Hollywood, UCLA, Bel Air, Getty Center, Orange County, Chinatown, Dodger Stadium and Downtown LA. It has been fun and sunny. We bought some art at the BH art market, shopped Rodeo Drive, and drove around a lot. Thank goodness for GPS and hybrid cars.

Yesterday I turned 30 (ugh) and started my 1 week veterinary externship at Veterinary Pet Insurance. The days are flying by with a lot of terrific information to absorb. I wish more vet students could have the opportunity to understand the insurance industry and how it will impact the profession.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Almost there

I can taste the end of second year and it feels great. One more exam on Wednesday, with all the big ones behind me. Summer is going to be very busy, starting with a vacation/externship in sunny LA!

Seeing the 3rd years transition into their new clinician student jackets today (their first day of 4th year) made me realize just how close and possible this vet school thing can really be. It's funny whenever you feel beat down or frustrated it picks you back up somehow. It's as if vet school karma knows when you're at the breaking point.

Good luck to all with exams left! Stay tuned for a fun summer blog about Veterinary Pet Insurance, lab animal medicine at the National Cancer Institute at NIH, RAVS in Spokane, and weekly emergency cinics! Oh and hopefully some fun in between.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It seems impossible all over again

After an intense 7 hours of toxicology almost straight in the library, I thought I was making head way. I decided to head to the gym for a mental break. While on the elliptical I wanted my break to continue, but I diligently opened my folder of study sheets. I remembered almost nothing that I studied all day. Panic started to set in. I kept telling myself, I needed the break and being at the gym was a good idea, but I felt guilty and helpless, so I closed the folder and continued the break.

I remind myself that I have felt this way many times before. I have been proactive about studying this material. I am doing the best I can, and hopefully it will work out. By "work out" I mean I do not have to study for these horrible exams again next year. Fingers crossed. Time to eat dinner and hit the lab.

Oh how finals are horrible! 11.5 more days of torture remain.