One of the most fulfilling aspects of working in veterinary medicine is being able to watch your patients recover. It has been a long time since I have had the ability to track cases, especially while only being able to do one or two week rotations. I have been disappointed by not being able to know what happens next. I always hope for the best, but the lack of closure really bothers me.
A benefit of having an eight week externship is that you can follow short-term cases to a resolution. During my externship, I was able to watch several of my patients recover from illnesses, surgery, or emergency stints. One of my favorite cases was following along with a urethral obstruction in a male goat. He presented with a complete obstruction and was taken to surgery for an emergency tube cystotomy. The prognosis can be guarded with those surgeries, so we were especially worried about him. Luckily, at his recheck appointment he looked great and had recovered well. When his urinary catheter was capped, he was able to produce urine from him urethra without issue. With urinary obstructions being such life threatening conditions, this was an amazing outcome. I was grateful to know that this guy recovered so well and was even able to experience it firsthand. I get to know that I played a crucial role in his treatment and subsequently he is alive and doing well today. I can’t say that there is a better feeling than that.