This post has been sitting in my drafts for six months now. Ironically vet school is the reason I haven’t had time to write it yet. Vet school is the reason I haven’t had time to contribute much to the blogging world the past two and a half years. It’s the part of my life that takes up the most time, so I thought I’d better give you a look at what I’m most likely to be doing when I’m not reading.
I got into veterinary science right out of high school. I’m one out of probably 20-30 in our year who managed this feat. Most people transfer from another degree or join after completing a different degree first. It’s still a mystery how I managed to get high enough grades in high school to jump straight in to this inferno.
The degree is five years long and at this moment I’m halfway. Which is scary. In 2.5 years I will be a considered a fully fledged vet and I’m not ready. At this point in my degree I only really know normal things. The first two years was laying down the foundations of anatomy and physiology. Only this year, in third year, did we start to get into all the microbiology, pathology (what can go wrong basically) and basic pharmacology, toxicology, and biosecurity. Next year, fourth year, we learn how to fix these things and start practicing surgery. Then in fifth year, the final year, we’re on rotation in real vet clinics and they pretend we’ve already graduated.
What does all of the above look like?
Mostly it’s a lot of sitting at a desk attempting to memorise information. Lots of notes to be written. I’d say most nights I’m up to at least 10pm studying, and that’s after a full day of classes which are usually from 8am-5pm, less if we’re lucky. Classes can range from lectures which are interesting to listen to but boring to talk about, pracs where we do lots of dissecting in the first two years and a lot of looking at parasites so far this year, and tutorials which are as boring as lectures to talk about. As for topics we cover it feels like almost everything under the sun. We have to learn about all the things that could go wrong in all kinds of animals and then how to fix it, as well as what not to do and how to keep the public safe from some of the diseases.
But enough about boring classes. Time for cute animal pictures!
We do get animal handling classes as part of the course. And just recently I’ve had to complete placements on sheep farms, equine studs, dairy farms, and beef cattle properties. Each placement is enjoyable and we get so much hands on experience. I’ve done a lot of vaccinating, drenching, and preg testing. Also got to castrate a calf which was cool!
Overall it’s a pretty stressful degree, especially for someone with high anxiety levels like me. But the further I get into it, the more I start to enjoy the course and the more certain I become that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Right now I think I want to become an equine vet when I graduate, but we’ll see where life takes me.
If you want to see more of my vet school journey you can check out my vet tumblr account, which I update very sporadically.