Dear Veterinary Student in your third year,
It’s an exciting time for you. This may be the last time you sit in a classroom for the majority of the day, being hit with the proverbial firehose from which you are drinking. It might just be the last time you study vigorously for finals. Junior surgery is electrifying as you embark on your journey to learn procedures to spay and neuter the pets in the community. As every day passes, you are closer to clinics, and ever so nearer to achieving your dream that consists of those three little letters—D.V.M.
As the year goes on, everything begins to take its toll. You are more tired than you have been in a while. You may spend several hours in the ICU because the cat you spayed is hyperthermic and her temperature just won’t go down (probably due to the pre-med you gave her—but you know that because you learned it in anesthesia). Weekends are filled with taking the puppy you just neutered out on walks. Said puppy then accompanies you while you study for that test first thing on Monday morning. Things are becoming more real, but you are getting beat down by your rigorous 22 credit semester.
You are tired, but you’re almost there! Think back to all the things that have brought you closer to the dream. You have probably performed dozens of physical exams on several dogs and cats. You are starting to put together problem lists, differential diagnoses, and a treatment plan. You are feeling more comfortable with the idea of taking care of patients. Do you remember when you were a first year and clinics made you nervous because you felt like you didn’t know anything? Look at how far you have come in just 3 short years. Working with people and their animals, whether companion or livelihood is what we are all here for, and we are so close.
You may have a moment in the year where you truly have to think to yourself—do I really want to be a vet (don’t worry many of us had these thoughts too)? If you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else, just remember that you are where you are supposed to be, and I promise you will get through it.
Congrats to all the third years, for making it through. You are almost there!