By now, most of you know that I do not think my future entails private practice. I hope to be involved in policy and legislation as it relates to science, agriculture, food safety, and veterinary medicine. Over the past month, I have been working with a lot of cows on the dairy field and livestock medicine services. Dairy field was my favorite. Being around the dairy was a really great experience. Colorado State sets up contracts with local dairies. Part of this arrangement means very reduced fees for a dairy to send a cow to the veterinary teaching hospital for treatment. Often, we would not have the opportunity to see some of the cases because of financial constraints. Part of the challenge with production medicine is the cost of the animal versus its worth.
My favorite part of dairy field was being able to interact with the owner and the workers. They care a lot about their animals and their animals’ well-being. Interacting with the workers was limited, because my ability to speak Spanish is poor. The basic conversation was there, and I was able to ask questions about the sick cows. One cow was treated at the veterinary teaching hospital, and I was able to see her because I was on barn duty. The following week every time I went to the dairy, I was able to check on her. It was a great learning experience to watch her progress.
I am happy that I enjoy the medicine part of the profession more than I used to. My guess was that learning medicine didn’t come naturally to me. Learning something meant there was a test at the end of it. I am really bad at taking tests. Now, learning something means being able to help an actual animal. That is much more rewarding than any test score.