Fourth-year was tough. It was full of long hours and difficult cases. It was a huge learning curve, a lot of wrong answers, and a big ol’ safety net of people who have been practicing medicine longer than I’ve been alive. I could never have guessed how much I would have grown as a doctor and a person throughout this long year. Because of all of the life-changing things happening in your fourth year, it can be easy to pass by the more practical things that have to happen amidst all the craziness. You have to find a job in that year, you have to find a new place to live, for some people, you have to plan for big life events like weddings or new children being born. Among all the learning and becoming a doctor, you also have to start your, you know, real life for the first time.
It can be tough to figure out how to work all of that in. I was lucky that my school allowed about 4 weeks of externship time that I could schedule on my own as one of my blocks for fourth-year. This allowed me to find places that may have been looking for another veterinarian and also allowed me to use my externship time as a working interview. Because of this, I secured at least a tentative job plan early on in my last year, because my externships were early.
There are lots of ways to find jobs during fourth-year though that don’t require you to sacrifice any valuable learning time while on externship! Many rotations during our fourth year allowed an authorized absence for a job interview. We also had vacation time which gave some students more days to do working interviews or to check out job sites. Our school hosted a job fair as well which gave students an opportunity to meet with employers who had traveled to our school’s city to talk with us. Overall, don’t stress too much about the logistical life stuff. It will come together in the end if you take advantage of the opportunities your school and you provide yourself with! We have all worked too hard to not find ourselves a job or internship or residency upon graduation!