Friday, September 25, 2009

College Days Remembered

Very rarely has vet school reminded me of undergrad. This week after Wednesday's public health exam, however, has had minimal classes for my track and no exams for a while. I have been able to spend time outside playing with Spokane and trail running again.

Thursday evening I volunteered for the pet loss hotline and it was a very rewarding experience. I spoke to a woman who lost her favorite dog to a number of severe diseases a month ago. Since I am taking a communications course this semester and we recently discussed euthanasia and client grief I was anxious to try be a good listener and help this grieving owner. Our conversation went very well. The woman opened up to me and ended by telling me I truly helped her and she appreciated my help and the many veterinarians she has met. She really valued the medical care we provide for animals and noted what I had known for a while, that in many ways veterinary care exceeds human care in terms of veterinary-client compassion. It gave me confidence that I will make a good vet one day, especially since on average 8 pets per month are euthanized per veterinarian.

This week was much lighter than the prior week, but still fun, fulfilling, and challenging.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Tough, Successful, Rewarding Week!

While this week lacked some sleep and some workout time, such sacrifices are sometimes worth it. Both exams went well, way better than expected. This means one of two things. One there is a little man in the scantron machine that helps me out or that studying in advance over time with other people is very effective.

Surgery went pretty well and was as fun and exciting as it had been on RAVS this summer. I spayed a 6 pound Chihuahua named Trixie with some nasty periodontal disease (grade 3 or 4 perhaps). On my second pedicle as I was breaking it down the suspensory ligament popped and there went the pedicle. I knew what happened right away, and knew the steps to fix it. My teacher came over I told her what to do to fix it and it went well. It is bound to happen in practice with these smaller dogs and was a great learning experience to have it happen in this safe environment, when someone is there to help. It happened to a lot of the other students with small dogs as well. The only other thing that went wrong was that I started closing the body wall incorrectly using muscle instead of the external rectus sheath, but they said we would do that and I have something important to work toward next time. My skin and subcutaneous sutures went well and Trixie went home the next day with only mild swelling.

At the end of that long day I had to study for a big GI exam, and while I was exhausted I kept thinking to myself, "Someone is going to pay me to do this...amazing." I also got a taste of what 4th year will be like working with the technicians and clinicians as a team to provide the best care for the animal. I cannot wait for fourth year.

In summary, once again the impossible was possible and tremendously rewarding. They weren't kidding when they said third year is a lot of fun. It truly is!

As for the menagerie, Spokane went to doggie day care twice this week and on only her 5th visit she initiated play properly on her own. Each day I come home to my 3 cats and dog and appreciate how amazing each one of them is. Of course when Matt is there it is only more fulfilling.

To my few fans and readers out there I can only say keep plugging away! If this is the career you want you have to work for it but it truly will be worth it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Make or Break Week Cometh

With 3 weeks of 3rd year under my belt it is safe to say that "they" were does get better. I absolutely love the classes and the labs. It all feels relevant and is slowly (very slowly) coming together, even if that involves looking stuff up again and again and saying to yourself, "at some point I knew that."

With that in mind, most of the semester looks extremely manageable, even with a new
puppy with the exception of next week.

Monday: Small animal advanced techniques lab and double quiz.
Tuesday: Surgery midterm exam...hard and includes Monday's lecture (talk about last minute).
Thursday: I am surgeon for a spay surgery on a client-owned animal. This involves a physical exam the evening prior, later that evening removing food, early am exam the day of surgery and checking on my patient later the evening of surgery. Add a dog into that mix and add

Friday: Gastroenterology exam...very hard. To top it off material we go over on Thursday is on the test.

Then I have class the entire day Friday until 4pm...extra dagger.

On the bright side, as I mentioned this is by far one of the toughest weeks and if I survive I can take deep breaths and enjoy the rest of the semester for the most part.

In the past weeks that seemed impossible were conquered, so I hope this is one of those weeks.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First 2 Weeks of 3rd Year Under the Belt

Having passed my surgical pretest today, I think it is safe to say that third year is amazing. Everything is clinical and relevant and my do I think my summer prepared me for the fall. I am one of the few not nervous about surgery. (me not nervous in vet school, what is going on?) A friend of mine and I brainstormed and started realizing well, we have done 2 years, we know what need to get done, how to do it, and that it will happen. You don't come this far to let it slip away. We are also in lecture less and laboratory more, which is terrific.

I definitely have forgotten a lot of the info over the past 2 years, but I have to remember that it takes more than 2 years to be a great doctor and there is nothing wrong with looking things up, as long as the correct binder or text book is within reach.

The menagerie or Larsen zoo is doing well. The cats have their domain and the dog has hers. 2 of our cats may venture into her domain now and then, and sometimes Spokane chases and sometimes she calmly acknowledges and ignores. While coming home for lunch everyday is not as efficient, it's also not too bad, and other than on surgery days seems like it will work out fine.

A couple weeks from now is a rough week. We have 2 big exams and its the first week of surgery labs. Right now that is the major hurdle. Once I get through that, if successful, the rest of the semester should cruise on by.