When I was still in undergrad, I once asked a newly graduated veterinarian who was working at an equine clinic where I was externing what was one tip she had for vet school. Her tip was, “Learn your anatomy.” She said if she could go back, she would study anatomy more and learn everything better. I took that to heart and remembered that fact many times in the anatomy lab, both in class and when I would return to study in the lab outside of class.
Now I’m a third-year student, and I’ve been working with a small animal practitioner many mornings doing surgery. Most days I get the surgery schedule in advance, so that I can prepare appropriately for each procedure. When I sit on my couch in the evenings going through the techniques and procedures we’ll be doing the next day, I think to myself, “I wish I had learned my anatomy better.” I was muttering to myself the same piece of advice that newly graduated vet had offered to me years before. I think anatomy is something you’ll never be able to learn enough of and something that all good veterinarians are constantly reviewing if they have any kind of varied surgical practice.
So today, if a student who had recently been accepted into vet school asked me for one piece of advice for the first year of classes, I feel confident I would say, “Learn your anatomy.” It is something you will need constantly.