Our White Coat Ceremony occurred several weeks before the end of the semester. With the looming dread of finals, the event did not quite feel as significant until now. I remember thinking, “I haven’t even passed all my exams yet. Who knows if I’ll actually ever be able to wear this thing!” I chuckle to myself when I think about the mindset I was in, especially now that my exams are complete and I am officially in the fourth-year of my veterinary education.
Despite my distractions, I remember one specific point that our advisors kept reiterating; the white coat was a sign of trust. That with this white coat we are now entrusted with the care and well-being of our patients and clients. Knowing that my rotations start in just under two weeks, this message was a bit daunting. This will be the first time in my life that I will be responsible for my own patients. Right now that responsibility seems a bit overwhelming.
Fourth-year feels as though it comes hurdling at you. One moment you’re sitting in the classroom, the next you’re working in a real-life setting with sick patients. I’m being honest when I say that I don’t feel prepared. I am very afraid of making mistakes or embarrassing myself. I know I share these sentiments with others. I also know that we aren’t expected to be pros right off the bat. We’re just expected to put in the effort and have a good work ethic. The skills and expertise will come with time. Acknowledging that I am not the only one experiencing these emotions makes me feel a bit better. I have an entire year to hone my skills and become the best new veterinarian that I can be. Now I just have to throw on that white coat and fake it until I make it.