We are currently in the midst of our Infectious Disease and Immunology block. The amount of information is extremely intense, but I find it interesting and amazingly applicable. It has allowed me to make connections and see the bigger picture that unites so much of the other information we have learned over the past year and a half.
Yet with more knowledge comes more of an ability to become a hypochondriac. All of a sudden, I am concerned that I have somehow contracted every random zoonotic disease or horrible parasite possible. Until now, I don’t think I have truly experienced the power and terror that accompanies a medical degree.
Regardless of the fact that I can believe I have lice, a tapeworm, and an autoimmune disorder all at the same time, I love what I’m learning. Each new virus name or bacterial family that I learn makes me feel like I’m becoming fluent in a new language, one that better allows me to communicate with other members of the veterinary medical field.
The causative agents of disease as well as the body’s means of combating infection are at the core of most of the medicine that we practice. Whether it’s prevention via vaccination, treatment of a bacteria, fungus, or parasite that is causing disease, or helping to manage an inappropriate immune response such as allergies, for me, learning about infectious disease and immunology brings it all together.