I have been always looking forward to working in a cat-only veterinary clinic and so one of my externships was done in a cat hospital, which was amazing.
The clinic was located in an urban area and had a fairly impressive caseload, around 30 every day. All the clinicians were board-certified feline specialists and they were so enthusiastic and excellent in teaching. Every day was challenging yet fruitful. I was quizzed numerous times, including cat breeds, the name of specific clinical signs, differential lists and treatment plans, mechanism of action of drugs, patient’s quality of life, etc. Whenever there was a murmur, I got a chance to listen; whenever there was an abnormality of an abdominal organ, I got a chance to palpate; whenever there was anything I could learn from, the clinician was there to guide me. There was never a dull moment – even after work. The clinicians would recommend some journal articles or book chapters for me to read regarding the diseases that we encountered during the day that I apparently was not so familiar with. In addition to the expertise in dealing with complicated feline diseases, the way that the clinicians handled annual wellness exam was also noteworthy – they were very discerning in recognizing diseases during these exams, which reflects the true meaning and value of an annual wellness exam, especially because feline patients are so good at hiding their diseases.
I really appreciate the broad range of feline diseases that I saw during this externship and the depth of discussion of various aspects of feline medicine. The mentorship was phenomenal. I was treated like a budding veterinarian, a colleague, and a friend and the working atmosphere was heart-warming. I look forward to going back and learning more.