Four weeks. That is a month. That is also the amount of time I have left before I finish clinics and my final year of veterinary school at The Ohio State University. It has flown by, even though some rotations felt as though they were never going to end. As this year of learning and hard work comes to a close, I am amazed at how far I have come. I now feel confident when I head into clinics, where once the start of every day could be intimidating. Many wonderful clinicians, technicians, residents, and interns have spent the last year helping me to build confidence in my knowledge and skills, and I am grateful to them all.
As I look forward and prepare to enter private practice, that confidence is still there thanks to all the instruction I’ve received. I will admit it isn’t as strong as it might be in the halls of the ivory tower (also known as the veterinary hospital), but it is there, ready to be used and grow stronger with experience and time. I am so very lucky to have had such great teachers who helped build my confidence. Many of those teachers were not necessarily ones I had in vet school. They were the private practitioners who were out in the trenches, sometimes referring cases to specialists. They are the ones who taught me to suture and how to do a rectal examination on a horse. They were the ones who helped me do my first cat neuter. They were the ones who helped build my confidence most of all, because they believed in me and cared enough to teach me long before I even believed in myself.
As I move forward with graduation and practice, I know I will think of them often and maybe even call a time or two when I need help. And I know they will be there ready to help build my confidence in this next step of life, and I will be as grateful to them as I am now.