Every fourth-year student is required to present a clinical conference to the school and write up a case report. These are based on cases we saw throughout the year in the clinics, whether it be a dog with renal failure or a horse with a stick in its hoof. Clinical conferences can also be based on topics that are trending in veterinary medicine, such as raw food diets or prescription drug abuse.
Yesterday, it was my turn to present my case. Over the past summer, I had gone on a farm call to see a swine herd with an outbreak of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. This allowed for a great clinical conference case, in my opinion, because not only do we not get to learn a lot about pigs throughout vet school, it was a topic that nobody else was sure to be talking about for their conference topic. It also provided me a platform to talk about not only the disease but how important knowing epidemiology, biosecurity and differential diagnoses are in the face of an outbreak.
I think overall it went well. I was very thankful for the public speaking courses that I took at the University of Vermont, as I’m one of the lucky few who doesn’t get terribly worked up about having to speak to groups of people. I did go a little over my time, but I just had so many cool things I wanted to talk about! I’m happy to have it over with, because that was really one of the last things I had to do, besides finishing rotations, in order to graduate!