Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finals and clinics

So finals are over-i had to take a breather for a week before I could finally post about them! We had our 2 days of intensive exams, day 1 of all pathology, then day 2 of the other subjects we covered in the 3 1/2 weeks prior: Immunology, toxicology, pharmacology. That makes it sound actually manageable, but like with everything else-it was way too much information to actually feel like I could know it all well. I just really hope over these next few years it all begins to aggregate and I actually know stuff.
The wildlife clinic scene has quieted down significantly, we haven't had a patient in a while, and even pager has calmed down a lot. I have it this evening-we'll see if it changes.

But the more fun news is that I've been on clinics since last week. Dentistry rotation which involved extracting teeth from cadaver heads and doing radiographs on skulls. Then learning all about dental anatomy and pathologies. This week is ER, and it has been super exciting but at the end of the day there was a very frustrating case. I will be vague about it, NO names, breeds or species are mentioned as to spare the this could be anyone/any type of pet. So-pet comes in and has a....a problem, let's say, we bring it to the back to do a thorough exam and look over the information from the regular veterinarian. Many, MANY clinicians come in and out and take a looks at him/her, doctors talk to the owner to see what they want to do about this...It would involve extensive surgery to explore and repair the problem. Regular vet wasn't able to successfully repair the problem. Surgeons came back and assessed the radiographs that were up from the regular veterinarian, internal medicine doctors came in and looked. Everyone had great ideas of what we could do to help, and the pet spent about 2 hours with us back there on pain meds and oxygen...I was so excited to go and watch them operate and do their magic and see this lil dude(ette) leave happy, but after many hours of back and forth, the owners decided they couldn't afford surgery and opted for euthanasia. This was a youngish animal that had great odds of successful recovery. All I can say is, this will be extremely frustrating for me moving on into this career. A completely fixable situation that is entirely determined by cost, and the pet loses. This would never happen in human medicine. I can't even express how upset I am over this, but what can I do. What can I possibly do? You can't always save a life.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

quick mid-mid term update...

Hellooo! so I just wanted to throw in a quick, QUICK update because I said I'd update more often this year....AND, my mom's reading this! so, yea.

The last few weeks leading up to midterms have been insane. not only are we hit with a TON of material to learn in just a few weeks, but my wildlife team has been extremely busy this year. I was on call a few weeks ago and was paged NINE TIMES. So many head trauma squirrels, orphaned bunnies, cat deglovings of bunnies, hit by car turtles...and then this past week...a turkey vulture with a broken wing, 2 great horned owls with longstanding injuries, more turtles and neuro squirrels...and the most painful I think-was the fawn.

She appeared to be around 2 days old (not much bigger than an adult cat), cachexic (anorexic to the point of wasing), was completely lethargic, floppy when picked up, had grey gums and was barely responsive. We tried everything we could, put her on IV fluids with dextrose, gave her dextrose directly on her gums, put her on heat and 02 and watched her for around 2 hours. She seemed to go agonal every now and again. It was extremely sad and excrutiating to watch, not to mention that the person who brought her in told us he knew the mother had died days ago-so this poor baby had been without nutrition for at least 2 days. She was definitely not long for the world. Alas, we ended up deciding the most humane course of action would be to help her get to heaven, there wasn't much more we could do for her. It was one of those sad cases that you wish you hadn't seen or been involved with.

It was a good dose of reality though, no, being a veterinarian is definitely not just vaccinating cute puppies and kittens. It's about life and death, and the helplessness you feel against nature. Some days I feel like a junior doctor and some days I feel like the grim reaper. *sigh*.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So much to little time.....

I'm so very tired. It's okay though, I had one of those great moments today where I thought "I am SO appreciative that I get to do this. go to vet school. become a veterinarian. ahhhh". So, it's all good-I just have a ton to do.

The Wildlife Clinic has kept me insanely busy-we now have 2 cases, a juvenile opossum who had an open wound on her side (still does, we're trying some interesting honey bandaging techniques), and an adult squirrel who's having neuro signs. I have yet to meet that one, I'll see how he is doing tomorrow morning at my treatment shift.

And classes....ahh the massive buildup of information. It's amazing what they can cram in to a mere week. And since we're on quarters (which I may have already mentioned) we have a midterm exam already in 2 weeks or so. insanity. BUT-on the plus side-just about everything we are learning right now is super interesting to me! I am loving pathology and immunology. I realized also I'm in that notorious year that any type of medical student starts learning about disease and immediately become hypochondriacs. I can totally see how that happens. It appears so because during lectures it seems almost impossible that our bodies function as well as they do. There are so many places where things can go wrong. SO many ultrastructural, eensy, and nano- weensy places where just one molecule can wreak havoc on a system. The body is truly a remarkable thing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Second year starts off with a bang

So I spent my first day of second year at the vet med campus for THIRTEEN HOURS. I had classes from 8-12, then lunch, then lab from 1-3, then studied for a bit, then had to do a treatment on some wildlife clinic patients at 4, then had my Fish Med elective at 5, then had Team Leader training for the Wildlife Clinic from 6-8. somewhere in there, I realized I needed to give my little orphaned opossum patient at the WMC some pepto bismol to help her with her diarrhea problem, so I went down there and ended up finally leaving campus by 9. eeesh. needless to say, I was exhausted.

More later....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sigh. back to school blues.

So today we moved in some of my stuff, heading back home tomorrow, then back Saturday for the final move. I have that overwhelming feeling of responsibility falling over me again. eh. I guess I'll get back in the groove, it's just a bummer that summer is over.

I thought I wasn't very detailed last year with what exactly we were doing in school-so here is a list of subjects we'll be covering this upcoming quarter:

General Pathology w/lab
Immunobiology w/lab
Path 'discussion' and electives-
I am taking fish medicine and surgery. interesting, eh?

then next quarter we go through rotations-a different one each week. I'm really hoping to get dentistry and exotics-but I have to just take what I get.

Monday, August 15, 2011

2nd year...yeeikes.

so, I had an incredibly busy summer as a tech assistant at a Cat Hospital. It was wonderful, I got to draw lots of blood, assist during echo cardiograms and ultrasounds, give enemas (woo!) talk to owners about their cats and I even successfully drew urine by cystocentesis! I learned a LOT about stress-free restraint and feline specific handling.....and Ultimately, I learned what life was like for a feline only vet at a day practice in the city, and I loved it. I definitely see myself forming relationships with owners and seeing their pets for the entirety of their lives. I'm sad to leave that place, and my life with a job, and return to school, but I gots to do what I gots to do.

oh-I met my 'little sib'. The school has a program where as a 2nd year you can volunteer to be a mentor to an incoming 1st year that they pair you up with based on experiences and interests..Mine was really cool! she's a second career person also-and was so excited to be going into vet med. I am excited to hear about her 1st year experiences and hope to help her as much as my big sib helped me.

The big move is this week-we're heading down this weekend to my lovely graduate housing apartment in the woods. I can't believe the summer is over already. gah.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's been so long....

Woah, it has been a very, VERY intense and long past 6 months. I apologize for not posting since Spring Break, and even then, I didn't post anything of interest.

So, I made it through the first year of veterinary school. All the studying kept my free time completely full, but I did it and am now considered a second year. It was a whirlwind of quizzes, exams, lab practicals, study groups and lots of extra time spent in the anatomy lab.

Something important I did this last semester that I really think helped my health and studying was working out regularly.....the university has a fantastic gym system and as a student I just *had* to take advantage of it...I really think that it helped me maintain my brain power, and just 'get away' from studying for a while and focus on something entirely different. It was helpful-AND i got fit to boot! So-for those of you going to grad school-especially later in life-make time for exercise!

I have already started looking at what our syllabus for next year looks like, and I am scared! At least in the first year there was elaboration on subjects I already had under my belt-but next year...all pathology and bacteria and virology all the time. yeeikes. i'm going to have to seriously plug my brain onto an external hard drive....

I am back home for the summer, and was able to land a perfect job at the perfect clinic-a feline only hospital. I am constantly surprised by how nice and knowledgeable everyone is, and willing to train me.

anyway, that is all for now! I made it! wooooooot!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


sorry for not posting more, it has been insanely busy and this curriculum is pretty much jam packed-but i promise i will post some more soon. spring break is coming!


I just aced a palpation exam! these are the moments where I truly feel like I am in the right place................. :D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

sorry it's been so long!

Hellooooo world...I'm sorry it's been a while.

Our schedule leaves little time for much more than studying between Thanksgiving and the end of the semester. After two last weeks of class we had a quiz (or a 'quest' as I like to call it since it is definitely more like a test) followed by entire week of finals. The tests consisted of a palpation exam on the resident horses, and a lab exam consisting of identifying histology slides and anatomical parts on our specimens (those were the parts I rocked...) then a study day, then a day of multiple choice questions and a day of the integrative portion. These were far more challenging, and the integrative part puts everything over the last 8 weeks together into clinical correlations. This way of testing us is great, but very difficult to prepare for. There was a lot to cram into my brain, but I made it through and need to plow on through next semester, maintaining as much info as possible. Overall, I'm very happy I made it through this first semester unscathed.

Holiday break is about a month. This past two weeks we’ve visited with friends and family (you know who you are) and now I have 2 more weeks of freedom before 2nd semester starts. During this time, I will be chillaxing, volunteering, and prepping a resume to drop off at clinics for summer work.

I'll also be preemptively reading ahead in my anatomy and physiology books. It may sound like it's because I'm a hard core studier, but really it's because I enjoy it. Is that so wrong??