I am officially done with my first two weeks of classes into my first quarter of vet school!
First quarter consists of 15.5 credits: Veterinary Anatomy I (6 credits), Interprofessional Healthcare (0.5 credits), Veterinary Physiology I (3 credits), Practice of Vet. Medicine I (4 credits), Understanding Vet. Literature (2 credits). Interprofessional Healthcare is more of an online course, we meet only once a quarter; our only real assignments outside of class is to participate in community service (preferably with students from the other colleges i.e. PT, Nursing, DO, Pharmacology, etc.).
This may not seem particularly hard – in regards to the lecture material – and it’s not! When they say first year is hard, it’s hard in the sense where we are having a lot of information thrown at us all at once. Some of it may – or may not – have been discussed in undergrad; if it was, then it was only done so at the most basic concepts in comparison to the great lengths we discuss it in vet school. I’ve probably learned more than I have in two weeks of vet school, than I did in my 2.5yrs of undergrad! Actually, I’m in the middle of writing this blog in between study sessions; I may actually do so over the course of this upcoming three day weekend. If anything, having this “break” in studying is almost motivation for me, it keeps me chugging along so I can give my brain at least a few minutes to relax from Anatomy and Physiology.
Our first anatomy test is this upcoming Tuesday and covers the following topics: Introduction to Anatomy (directional terms), Introduction to Histology, Cytology I/II, Microanatomy of Epithelial Tissue I/II, Microanatomy of Connective Tissue I/II, Microanatomy of Muscle Tissue I/II, Microanatomy of Nervous Tissue I/II, Microanatomy of Integument, and Embryology I/II/III. Our lectures consist of powerpoint presentations and some in-class questions that are answered via an app (we are not graded on this). Our lecture presentations are recorded for our benefit to use later on when we are studying; we are provided the powerpoint slides on our main classroom page.
Unfortunately our schedules aren’t consistent, so some days we have all 4 classes and are on campus from 8am-5pm; other days we only have 1 or 2 of our classes and are on campus for 1-3 hours (sometimes this is in the middle of the day, like 1pm-3pm). Finding free-time to study can be little and far between or you can have an entire day that’s open to studying! The people who have been the most helpful thus far (aside from the counselors) have been the upperclassmen. We were assigned a student from c/o 2021 to be our “big sibling”, the person we can go to with any questions and someone to just be a guiding hand (and hopefully a friend) throughout these next 4 years.
Similarly, we’ve also been assigned a faculty mentor to guide us through the next 4 years and assist in any questions we have about graduation, practicing, case studies, rotations/externships/internships, etc. The faulty mentor was assigned based off a paper we filled out during orientation that ranked our preferred specialties from 1-5; as a result, my mentor is involved with small animal emergency (my #1 was ER and my #2 was oncology, followed by a few others). The faculty member is assigned to a few other students as well, but the main thing is you all share similar interests.
If you’re even more interested in a certain aspect of medicine, there are club opportunities that are available. We have yet to have student club day, but that will actually be hosted on Monday during lunch hour. In order to join a CVM club, you must be a member of SAVMA; you can’t become a member until your school submits your information (I finally got that situated this week). Since my SAVMA membership is now in order, I was able to join the Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (SVECCS) university chapter. Whether or not you join clubs will not only depend on your interest levels, but the club itself. I was given some advice from recent graduates that advised me to join SVECCS since I’m more than likely going to specialize in ER. They said the wet labs alone make it worth while, as long as it’s something you’re passionate about. For example, would I join the Surgery club for wet labs? Although more surgical experience sounds amazing, I’m not as passionate about surgery as I am ER (yes, technically we do surgeries in ER, but more like FB; not TPLOs).
So far, so good! We will see how things pan out over the upcoming few weeks; I’ll get a much better feel for how things are going when I get my test results back next week!