We recently had one of our first big “talks” as a class about where our lives were heading, a topic that scares a large majority of our class, including me. Some people are dead set that they’re going to do small animal medicine, or large animal surgery, or exotics. On the other hand, there’s me who came in here thinking I knew what I was doing but am now in this weird limbo of “I have no clue what I’m going to do with my life.”
Basically, for our third year, everyone has to do junior surgery, which is a small animal surgery course where we learn how to do basic procedures such as dentals, spays and neuters, along with refining our skills in anesthetic monitoring, blood collection, and physical exams. Then, we have electives for the first time, so people who want to do small animal practice can take the small animal electives, and vice versa for the large animal people. We also have required core courses like clinical pharmacology and cardiology. Finally, we have elective large animal labs, which will be our only opportunity for hands-on large animal experience in third year before heading to clinics. In order to get spots in these large animal labs, you had to declare interest, which made me panic because it meant I had to choose something!
So, here’s where I stand. I want to say mixed animal general practice, which basically keeps my options open. However, I’ve decided that food animal medicine probably isn’t going to be for me, since it’s very different than treating an animal as a pet. I’ve decided that I don’t want to continue doing any more school right now, so no three-year specialties in internal medicine or pathology.
Well, I had to choose from small, mixed, food animal, equine or general large animal. If I wanted a chance at getting equine labs, I had to choose equine, so here I am declared as an “equine” student, even though I don’t want to be an equine-only practitioner. It’s just the way things work at my school to make sure we all get to learn about what we want. The goo part is that I’ll still be able to take small animal elective lectures, along with lectures on exotics, small ruminants and many more classes.