I’ve always looked forward to working in a cat-only veterinary clinic and on just the second day of my externship, not only did I get to work with many beautiful cats, but I also found that this is going to be a most rewarding and enjoyable learning experience.
The veterinarians here are so willing to teach. Whenever an interesting or representative case, like patellar luxation, heart murmur, or hyperthyroidism, comes in, I’m invited to take a look. They view every extern as a future doctor and ask you to think about and analyze the case, just like they do. At the end of the day, they will kindly remind you of those diseases that we encountered during the day that I am not so familiar with and recommend a book to review them.
There is a saying that goes “veterinary technicians are heroes behind the scenes.” They certainly are. We had a cranky patient one day, and I was trying to help the vet tech who was restraining the cat. What surprised me and almost made me cry was her words, “don’t touch the cat, doctor’s hands should be saved for surgeries.” I felt so honored and deeply touched being viewed as a doctor, and I decided that I will definitely let my vet techs know how much I appreciate them when I become a true veterinarian.
“What do you do before you can reach a definitive diagnosis?” This was the question I was asked on the first day of my externship. While I was still thinking, another vet spoke out loudly “to help the patient! Trick question.” There will be many times in our career that, for various reasons, a definitive diagnosis cannot be reached, but it will not keep us from doing whatever we can do to help our patients and make them feel better.
I know I am going to miss this externship when it’s over.