After finishing second year, I spent a week at home doing pretty much nothing. I did some errands, changed the oil in my car, got drinks with a few friends, and sun-bathed out by the pool. It was a much-needed relaxing week after such a tiresome semester, especially since I anticipated my summer being nothing even remotely close to relaxing.
The summer after my first year, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to be a pseudo fourth-year student on clinics at New Bolton Center (the large animal hospital) in Kennett Square, PA. I was a part of several two-week rotations that included Emergency/Critical Care Medicine, Field Service, Sports Medicine, and Pathology. I learned a lot that summer regarding veterinary medicine, but the most valuable thing I gained was learning about the hospital and clinicians I would one day get to work alongside.
This summer, I’m part of the same program again but will be rotating through Sports Medicine, Reproduction, Surgery, and Emergency/Critical Care. I plan on using this summer to help shape my future career goals. I know that I have a passion for Equine Sports Medicine, and the clinicians at New Bolton Center are both engaging and excellent teachers/mentors.
However, I also have a strong interest in surgery. I worked for an equine surgeon during my pre-veterinary days and really enjoyed watching her work and interacting with those patients. However, my actual surgical experience was very limited at that time. Although I learned a TON about veterinary medicine while at that practice, I have to remember that it was a truly unique facility and much more of a ”boutique” surgery suite as opposed to what surgery might be like at a teaching hospital.
Needless to say, I am placing a lot of pressure on this summer. I’m almost positive I’ll still be struggling with the same issue in August, but at least I’ll have more experience under my belt to help narrow my focus, if only a little bit more.