One of the reasons why I love veterinary medicine is the amplitude of different specialties and interests it offers. And for every thing you might want to do in the field, there is most likely a club for you to get involved with in veterinary school. Clubs include everything from Farm Animal Practitioner’s Club to Surgery Club, and even a club for learning how to run an effective business.
SCAVMA (Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association) is also another important club that everyone joins. Members are entitled to many benefits including free entrance to the annual AVMA conference, access to externship and job opportunities, networking opportunites, and many others. Additionally, entrance to other clubs is limited to those who have SCAVMA memberships.
Most importantly these clubs offer opportunities to gain hands on experience. For example, food animal club allows students to sign up for weekly palpation rounds, where they get to go and learn how to palpate cows from the school’s dry herd with help from experienced cow handlers. Clubs also have a variety of guest speakers that come in for discussions (free food is almost always included too!). One of the big guest speakers from this past week was a doctor whose specialty is in home euthanasia. The discussion was held in the anatomy room, and students got to practice placing catheters on dog cadavers as if they were actually going to perform a euthanasia.
These clubs also allow students to try out many different parts of the profession without having to fully commit to that field. After sitting in on meetings and talking to students that are in each of the clubs, I was able to figure out which ones were best suited to my career interests. So far, this has made it much easier for me to do what I really care about doing, and will help me hone the skills that I will need to succeed in the future.