Upon exiting the test center after finishing the NAVLE, I tried to keep in my head a list of words that I had never read nor heard before. Though by the time I made it back home after a long day of staring at the computer screen, only two words remained: dhurrin and patagiectomy. While I may soon forget that the former is a toxic component in many plants such as sorghum, I think that the latter will remain with me for some time since I was on the wildlife rotation only a month or so after test during which I was reminded of the patagium (wing membrane) of a bird. A patagiectomy would be removing this portion in order to prevent flight. While it may never be important in my practice of veterinary medicine that I remember these words, I find it an interesting game to try to stuff my brain with all these seemingly random words and concepts.
With the test in my rearview mirror, it initially felt wonderful to take a break from studying. But I know that it would be foolish for me to think that I know everything and will no longer have to study or read up on different diseases and treatments. I will be citing desk references like the Merck Veterinary Manual for information on drugs and many informative websites for the rest of my career. The middle of a standardized test is not an ideal context to see a new word for the first time, but it will be nice to have new words pop up before my eyes from time to time to serve as a reminder that there is always something new to learn.