In these tough times, we have seen how the pandemic has changed everything. The veterinary world has adjusted to COVID-19 by implementing telemedicine and curbside drop-off services. Senior vet students and now Doctors of Veterinary Medicine like me have received their degrees through virtual commencements. We have experienced the feeling of disappointment when we didn’t have the chance to enjoy the most important day of our lives. But we have become doctors and we are still alive. It’s hard entering into the veterinary field at these unexpected times and no how we think it will look like. Some of the challenges faced by new grads are:
#1 Doing a pet’s physical exams without the owner in the room and not be able to explain findings to the owner. Now, digital apps as FaceTime, Zoom are becoming new ways to communicate with pet owners and address their pet health issues.
#2 Building the veterinarian-client-patient relationship which is a critical part of the health of the animal is not like it just to be before. The process of asking questions and reassessing issues can be harder. There is no accurate way to read non-verbal communication and gain more answers to the questions.
#3 Taking the North American Veterinary License (NAVLE) during the Spring window (April) was challenging since the tests were canceled and rescheduled several times. Many testing centers said that they will be closed until late June and others reopened under restricted conditions where they decided to reduce the number of students a day. Similarly, many new grads who already signed their job contracts have been not able to take their State License Exam and start practicing soon after graduation.
Lastly, there have been new challenges for those who just graduated from vet school like me. But we must be strong and keep working hard in the middle of this pandemic.