Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vacation Block-the good, bad and ugly

Small animal medicine, block, 9, ended very well. A very prestigious clinician agreed to write me a very strong letter of recommendation. Garfield's eye was healing well finally and I drove home. I visited some doctors, and spent the rest of my first week studying for the stupid NAVLE. Studying didn't help at all. The only thing that may have helped would have been memorizing the Merck Veterinary Manual, an impossible task for anyone without a genius IQ and photographic memory. After 7 hours, I left the exam center feeling depressed and brain fried, unsure that I would ever be a licensed DVM. I didn't talk to anyone but Matt for 2 days, I was so embarrassed, assured that I failed. I finally got the courage to call a fellow classmate and found out she felt the same way. In her self-doubt she looked up the statistics over the last 10 years and those in the top 25% of the class had a 100% pass rate. That made me feel a little better. Then I spoke to some other current DVM's and the story was the same. It was more trivia than clinically relevant questions, and no one was happy afterward. Feeling a little more confident I headed to my first internship interview. I believe this went very well and boosted my confidence. I am once again back to feeling how I did when I drove back to DC a week ago; excited about my career.

The vacation is flying by, but I have started to catch up with some old friends. I am getting a lot of sleep and am almost finished with my internship application. This weekend I will finally get to see my much-awaited Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright. I am very excited. Matt will visit a graduate school he is considering. Next week I will be working out by day and externing at the Hope Center by night before heading back to school for community practice.

I have finally narrowed down my interests to general practice (there is something to be said for a balance between healthy and sick animals), emergency and critical care (it is what I know best and the initial thrill of stabilization and medicine is invigorating) and internal medicine ( I heart endoscopy). The 1 year internship will allow me to further explore these 3 fields and choose the one that is best for me. The beauty of it all, is that I know my preference may change over time, and all 3 fields are accessible with a DVM.

Here's hoping I passed the NAVLE by some miracle and get a great internship next year. It will all be known by early February, just over 2 months away.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Small Animal Medicine- So Far So Good

It is the end of my second week of small animal medicine and it has been very enjoyable and only a little depressing. I do believe, however, that soft tissue surgery has toughened me up a little bit. The all-intimidating rounds have gone well thus far and are actually fun and great learning opportunities.

I do truly enjoy medicine and the challenges and I absolutely love the eondscope, but again I find that the healthy patient is refreshing to see.

In the meantime, Garfield had a second prophylactic surgery in his right eye that did not go well. He had a second procedure to try to re-do the graft that seems to be doing better, but not healing as well as the other "emergency eye." I will second-guess the decision, but it is clear that that eye is diseased and we did the surgery to provide the best care for him, even if the outcome made the situation worse. Poor little cat. He has many days ahead of trips to the vet, eye medications, and e-collar fashion. Hopefully, he will not lose this eye in the end.

As NAVLE and internship application time approaches I am a little more optimistic that I will get some strong recommendations needed to secure a good internship in the Washington area.

Soft Tissue Surgery Part 2

The rest of soft tissue surgery was not quite as depressing, but was busy. I no longer think I am cursed, but learned the hard way that death and disease are the nature of the job. The past 2 blocks I have realized that there may be something more appealing to general practice. Perhaps the healthy puppy vaccine visit is a needed break from diagnosing cancer or untreatable diseases.

The last week of surgery was a combined orthopedics/soft tissue service due to the surgeon conference. It was pretty busy, I got another liver case, a gallbladder rupture, which did well post-op. My last patient was an emergency and an uplifting story. A dog was found with an arrow in its chest and abdomen. We removed the arrow surgically, which miraculously did not penetrate any organs other than a small defect in the diaphragm and I got to spay her at the same time. She came in to the hospital slightly feral and panicky and left as a healthy, female spayed, super sweet dog with a true home.