I just completed a two week externship at ASPCA Humane Alliance in Asheville, North Carolina. Through this externship, I was able to perform fifteen surgeries (spays and neuters) in dogs and cats. I did my first surgeries on puppies and kittens ever! I learned new surgical techniques and had around seven hours of table time. I received one-on-one surgical instructions and practice by a mentor from Monday to Thursday. I had Dr. VanderKlok as my mentor, she taught me so much and helped me to improve my surgical instrument handling. I can say I enjoyed every moment in the OR and gained more confidence on my surgical skills.
Besides surgical practice, I have morning classes where I learned about surgical complications, reproductive abnormalities, CPR and more. I also participated in several activities on Fridays that included parvovirus outbreak exercise, restraining workshops, and an animal shelter trip. In the Madison Animal County Shelter, I assisted to perform physical exams, diagnostics and treatment to dogs and cats. In the promo department of the shelter, I took pictures of a hound dog that was up for adoption.
At the end of each week, I explored Asheville with my friend and rotation mates. I visited the historic Biltmore Estate Mansion, Blue Ridge Parkway, a lot of restaurants and art murals located in the downtown. I also met and worked with seventeen other veterinary students from Canada, London and United States.
This was one of my favorite externships so far and it reaffirmed my interest in Shelter Medicine. I am happy that I could help in some way and a total of 298 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered in two weeks.