As I navigate this summer of research and road trips, I had a friendly reminder of what’s waiting for me when I return to TUSVM as a third-year: my class was passed along a copy of the rough draft for our surgery groups. Then it hit me. I really survived second year. Gross anatomy didn’t take me down. I’m moving on to my clinical years. I am exactly half way to being referred to as “Dr. Jones.”
Excuse me one moment while I have a mini panic attack……
OK, I’m back. I think what’s so daunting is the fact that clinics, surgery, and third year in general was always this far-off destination in my mind. As a first-year, I remember counting down the days left of gross anatomy, looking at the second-years and thinking how rough second year must be (spoiler alert: it really is that rough), and looking at the third- and fourth-years (all of whom are now doctors) in awe of how knowledgable they were. Back then, it felt like it would take a lifetime to achieve that kind of knowledge and to retain it. It has now become concrete fact that I’m already at that point in the vet school timeline. I’ll have to admit something: that is an extremely frightening realization.
It makes me question whether I know enough to function in a clinical setting. I passed all the classes, but do I really know? I know that’s not exactly the most optimistic approach, but I can’t help feeling like I’m heading toward chaos. I fear what I don’t know. How cliche is that?
At the same time, I look forward to an increase in clinical application next year. I think most people learn better this way, or at least it drives home the lesson better. I think this time, instead of stressing about it, I’ll choose to look at third year as the next great adventure. I’m sure it will still be stressful (I haven’t had a single semester that wasn’t), but if I come out the other side having gained as much as the doctors that came before me, it will be incredibly worthwhile.