1/16 a Doctor

We all made it through 8 weeks of veterinary school! That’s halfway through our first semester, we are 1/16 of the way there!!

The first 8 weeks of veterinary school is quite hard to explain. You’ve been thrown into a whole new world and the train stops for no one! This meme basically sums up our lives:

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One very positive thing I can say is that the amount of studying time I do vs the grade I receive seems a lot more correlated than it did in undergrad (and even my master’s), so that’s really nice. For the most part, I actually enjoy learning the material, our teachers do a very good job of giving clinical relevance for everything we are learning. There are a lot of really cool things CSU does to support their first-year students, but alas, I cannot talk about them too much or else I’d spoil the surprise for those of you who may end up coming here. I’m halfway through this semester and while this has been a lot of hard work I don’t feel particularly overwhelmed, there are definitely days I feel that way but I usually get a pretty good handle on it.

My advice to anyone going to vet school: get into a good routine early and adjust as needed. I definitely made the mistake, those first couple weeks of just studying for a little bit after class, and thus felt really behind. I had to do a lot of catching up for those first exams (luckily I got caught up just in time for the exams), but that’s a really crappy feeling so avoid it!

CSU

That’s all I have to report that’s school related. Everything else is going OK, I definitely can’t wait for the horses to be back up here but that won’t be until at least this summer, so I’ve been making trips down to Denver to visit my remaining horse, Jamaica. She’s been doing good and looks a bit plump and out-of-shape.

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Orientation and the First Few Weeks

I’ve been somewhat of a recluse since school started. I wish I could tell you all vet school is easy but that would be an utter lie. I spend roughly 30% of my time in dissection and feeling like I have no clue as to what is really going on; trying to find things on the Virtual Canine Anatomy program we use and then hunting for it on the dog in front of me.

What I can say is though veterinary school is a lot of work it is a blast! I’m very happy with my classmates and love how many people came out yesterday for a beer after our very first exam (more on that later)!

CSU does a different orientation than most schools, we have a few days of death by powerpoint but we also go up to CSU’s mountain campus for basically a class camping trip. I had a blast, we did ropes courses, many more powerpoints and group activities to help you get to know your classmates before we are thrown into classes together. It was really great and I think helped a lot of my classmates (myself included) to prepare for the oncoming semesters and come to terms with the reality; we finally got in!

Once orientation week is over though, school comes barreling at you like a deranged llama. I was sitting in anatomy class on the third day of classes when the sheer volume of information hit me and I realized that my life would now consist of studying and sitting in class basically all day. I do what I can to keep up, and I do study outside of class a lot but I’ve just survived my first exam and while I hope to continue to improve on the grade scale I have realized that these are just more classes and more exams. There is more information on each exam and the information comes at you faster than a machine gun fires bullets but you can make it through with a lot of work and a bit of luck. I always feel behind on studying since information comes so rapid-fire, but I still have found somewhat of a balance.

Outside of studying for the exam this past week, I took all of my large animals (excluding one horse, Jamaica) down to Arizona for safe keeping through the winter. I brought the horses and cows up with me from Texas, found a place to board but had to come to terms with moving them since we couldn’t find a place to rent with property, the boarding facility was 30 minutes from campus and where I lived (precious study time) and shelter for them during winter would be limited. So the decision was made and I scoured my schedule to find an appropriate time to move them before winter hit, labor day weekend was my last shot since it was a three day weekend and the next break I would get would be over Thanksgiving. Moving the horses made it very difficult to study for that first exam, but I know that it was MUCH better to be moving them now, at the beginning of the semester, vs somewhere in the middle. Luckily Jamaica is still here in Denver with a friend so I will at least get some horse time this semester. I’ve only been separated from the horses one other time, when I moved to Colorado for my undergrad it was three months before they followed, so being away from them for this long I’m sure will be difficult but they are in good hands for the winter as my grandfather is watching them. The trip to Arizona, despite taking away from study time, was great. I was able to see a couple old friends that I almost never see due to finances and distance, the drive back was an adventure as my truck decided then would be a good time to randomly freak out but we made it home and another week went by.

 

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Are we there yet? -Reveille on the trip to AZ

 

In summary, vet school is difficult. I’m not sure that CSU is any more difficult than any other school but I really enjoy the sense of community our class has and our professors are really there to help us learn. Most of them are very animated and make those long hours of sitting in the same chairs bearable. Added bonus: we have “cubes” which are desks, everyone has one assigned and so you always have study space you can go to.

Hello world

Hey there everyone,

Today’s introduction post comes from the heart of the Midwest (or so they keep telling me), where the summers are short and muggy and the winters make you think your face will fall off: Minnesota! My name is Channing and I’m a third-year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Joking aside, this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived, the people are lovely, and my campus is small and fairly quiet. The UMN CVM is on the St. Paul campus, the cute, rural feeling little sibling of the massive east and west bank Minneapolis campuses. This is nice for those of you that don’t want the distraction of dealing with heavy traffic, congested walkways, and of course, undergrads.

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As a third year, we have moved from the main building of our program and into the beautiful Ben Pomeroy Center, an old barn and historic part of the vet school that has been converted into a cafe, administration, and classrooms for third year classes.

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If you have any questions about the University of Minnesota, let me know, otherwise, I’ll leave off of it for now.

I’m originally from southern Arizona, but I’m told I was simply born in the wrong place (I tend to agree), and moved to Fort Collins, Colorado after graduating from high school for my bachelors, and later my masters degree. After living there and going to school for five years, I was accepted in to the DVM program of the University of Minnesota, so I packed up my life and moved even further away from my family to make a home here in “South Canada”. I haven’t looked back, and neither should the rest of you when the time comes!

I have two amazing black cats, Tyki (top), a 6 year old male black DSH, and Asia (bottom), a 5 year old female black DSH, both of whom are rescues. They’re the sweetest little things when Tyki is being a jerk, and you will hear of them frequently.

I also have a two year old female blue heeler/Australian Shepherd cross named Tesla (left), and I partially have an 11 month old male black standard poodle named Jarvis (right, and he’s really my boyfriend’s dog, but I watch him and take care of him a lot). Cool fact about Tesla: she’s actually the daughter of Erika’s two dogs, Ursa and Carbon, and two of her brothers, Einstein and Ludo, are with my two brothers. Talk about keeping it all in the family!

Lastly, I have a little devil of a cornsnake, he’s three years old and his name is Ragnarök, or Ragnar for short. He’s the first reptile I’ve ever had, and he’s kind of a jerk, but he’s real cute when he behaves. The second is my boyfriend’s ancient cornsnake, Aggie. She’s huge, and she’s a diva, but is also a snake shaped puppy sometimes.

Aside from that, my life revolves around vet school, with side notes of video games, my boyfriends, and mental/emotional breakdowns!

I have a strong interest in diagnostic imaging, research, and teaching, so I plan to pursue a residency after graduating from vet school, and probably a PhD after that. My ultimate goal is to either go into academia, where I can actively practice, do research, and teach all at the same time, or failing that, I’d like to go into industry where I can research and spend extra time with outreach projects.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m a small animal person, but I have a very important message for all of you, especially small animal people. Just because you want to track one way or the other, doesn’t mean that the rest of the species are unimportant. Small animal veterinarians are the best link between agriculture and the public, and it’s important for all of us as experts (or future experts) in the field to work together to provide the best information possible to the general population. I will probably talk about this more later, so be prepared.

I believe I’m the last of us to be starting classes for the year, so I will wish all of you luck in your classes, be they undergrad, post-grad, or vet school courses!

~Channing

Hello and Welcome to my First Blog Post!

Hello! My name is Victoria and I am going into my third year of veterinary school at St. George’s University (btw if you saw the earlier SGU post I can definitely confirm that it is beautiful here!)

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This will be my final year on the wonderful island of Grenada which while I am excited for my upcoming clinical year, I am sad to be nearing the end of my time here. You see, at SGU a vet student will spend three years here in Grenada and then for the fourth year we go to other vet schools for our clinical rotation. If anyone is curious I can elaborate on why that is in another post and talk about the process of applying for fourth year schools.

I currently have a cat that I adopted my first year of vet school and his name is SS Marmu

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His name is actually an acronym for the nerves of the brachial plexus which would be Suprascapular, Subscapular, Musculocutaneous, Radial, Median, and Ulnar nerves. It was one of my favorite parts to dissect in anatomy lab so I decided I would name my cat after that. I also have a foster dog named Luca who is a local dog that ended up with one of SGU’s vet student organizations called Spay and Neuter Pothounds (SNP).     20993090_10154705792662026_6331983695900017224_n

The local dogs here are called pothounds and are often tan, medium sized, with short fur but you can get a huge variety of shapes, colors, and sizes due to all the different breeds that have ended up in Grenada. For example, a former student from SGU DNA tested her dog and it came back as 75% Rhodesian Ridgeback!

After veterinary school, I am seriously thinking about becoming a bovine veterinary though I am undecided on if I want to focus on beef or dairy. I did have the opportunity to work with a dairy veterinarian last summer and it was a blast! I really enjoyed working with the cows, I find the industry fascinating, and I love farmers. They were all such down to earth very practical people. I have spent time in small animal clinics like any vet student but I have found that I enjoy large animal medicine more. However, I have two more years of veterinary school to go and a little over two years ago I had no idea I’d be going to school in a foreign country and loving it. So, I don’t know what the future holds but I am looking forward to finding out!

If anyone has questions about SGU or the island feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer the best I can. I love going to veterinary school here because it’s so different from anywhere else you can go to vet school. It certainly presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. Animal welfare and care is very different from the US and because of that students here see so many things that either never or rarely occur in back home. Also, not going to lie, I LOVE the weather here. Many students think it is too hot but I think it’s great and I am not looking forward to going back to places that have more than just a wet and dry season.

So, keep an eye for posts from yours truly in the future! I’ll be writing more about living in Grenada and very soon I’ll be writing a post about going to Nicaragua this summer to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Until next time!

-Victoria

Week 1 on the Island Country of Grenada

So I have just survived my first week on the island and I must admit that this lifestyle has grown on me. When I first arrived, I was honestly terrified. I was one of the few first term students that opted out of living on campus because I had brought along my pet rabbit. (If anyone needs more information on getting a pet to the islands, please feel free to contact me). I am also living alone in my two bedroom apartment. However, it really isn’t as hard to adjust as I thought it might be. My landlord has been very helpful, the university really goes the extra mile to look out for its students, and the locals are incredibly friendly.

If you have seen pictures of St. George’s University, just know that is exactly what the school looks like in person. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes I believe the pictures don’t do it justice. If you haven’t seen it, please google it. The school sits on a peninsula/cliff at the southeastern edge of the island. You can actually see it when you fly in, as it’s located right next to the airport. The school also has its own beaches.

This past week has been part of a long, (and somewhat boring) orientation session for all first term students. Some of the lectures held were on receiving medical care on the island, safety and security, and academic support resources. It was a lot of information being thrown at you all at once, but hey, that’s vet school in a nutshell, isn’t it?

So far, the students I have met are pretty great people. SGU isn’t the kind of school that fosters a cutthroat, competitive atmosphere for their students as I have heard about other schools. In fact, they really encourage everyone to build positive relationships with their classmates from day one. I’m happy about this because I was worried I wouldn’t make friends as easily as everyone else because I was off campus and everyone else experienced dorm living together. No need for that worry though! This coming Monday and Tuesday is PAWS, which is a “professionalism workshop” of sorts. The class will be broken up into groups to do team bonding exercises. I’m a little skeptical of how running around in the heat all day will make everyone best buds, but I suppose I’m game (after all it’s mandatory). Hopefully I will be able to get back to you all soon and share some class experience.

Oh yea, fun fact: Instead of having squirrels running around on golf courses and such, here they have big orange crabs

University of Missouri C/O 2021

Hey guys! My name is Taylor and I will be starting veterinary school as a first year this fall (just a few days away).

To give a little bit about myself:

I grew up as a child who was very interested in both animals and science. Veterinary medicine was not my first dream job as a kid. Growing up, I wanted to be a marine biologist. My father greatly discouraged this and told me to become a veterinarian instead. It was his insisting that led me to discovering that my dream job could be combined with his idea. And so the dream of aquatic veterinarian was formed.

Outside of veterinary medicine, I spend my time with my pets. I have 1 cat and 2 dogs. Unfortunately I have been unable to take my dogs with me to school so far, so my parents have been taking care of them until I am able to. I am a reader of all types of books and a lover of all things cephalopod. I also spend a lot of my free time knitting and crocheting. I love to make socks! (I know…lots of old lady jokes.)

My path to veterinary school:

I started shadowing a local veterinarian my senior year of high school. I asked several veterinarians about shadowing before asking this one and was turned down at all of them. I had been told by a very wonderful and encouraging man at Mizzou a couple years before, that if I wanted something, to keep going back and questioning them. So I went again to this one last veterinarian I had yet to ask and he gave me a chance. He turned out to be a great mentor and an awesome friend. I would not change the outcome of these events if I could. From this I learned that sometimes both persistence and patience is needed when we are going for something we want. The trick is understanding when and how to apply it.

I continued to gain veterinary experience during college and while in college I worked to gain many hours of research experience. By the time I was ready to apply, the summer before my senior year, I had veterinary experience in large animal, equine, exotic, and small animal. I graduated in May with my Bachelors in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology.

I applied to 5 schools; Mizzou, Colorado, Washington State, Kansas State, and Ross. I was initially flat out rejected from Colorado and Washington. Kansas put me on the waitlist for their interviews but then later rejected me. I received an interview from both Mizzou and Ross. I was put on the waitlist for Mizzou, and then later accepted, and was accepted into the Vet Prep Program at Ross. After much thought and consideration about both cost and opportunities, I decided to attend Mizzou.

At the moment, my interests lie in aquatic medication, specifically rehabilitation. I plan on getting as much experience as I can, despite being located in the middle of the United States…aka, not anywhere close to salt water. I’m excited to begin this journey and share it with everyone here!

Taylor

Countdown to Vet School

I’ve been in Colorado since the start of the summer (June 1). I moved back up here after completing my MS at Texas A&M, I subleased through the summer and boarded my horses about 30 minutes North of the school. Right now I’m in between housing as I needed to vacate my sublease before my lease for my new place begins. I’m excited to be all moved into the home where I will spend my first year of veterinary school.

This summer I took a job working at an equestrian barn where we do several summer camps teaching children to ride. I’ve been out in the sun hanging out with horses every day, it’s been great but the anticipation of orientation is definitely setting in; I’m so excited!

I also resumed riding along with one of my favorite veterinarians this summer, Dr. Wheeler. It has been quite the reunion and it has been great hearing him introduce me as a veterinary student! I’ve learned even more this summer from him!

In addition, I’ve also started meeting some classmates as they have been trickling in since the beginning of summer. We have gone out to breweries in Fort Collins and went tubing down the Poudre River. We are all anxiously awaiting the journey ahead!

Until next time!

Erika

Poudre River float!
Poudre River float group!