It feels perfect that I finished my rotation on the cardiology service on the weekend of Valentine’s day. Once again, I walked into a rotation feeling like I knew nothing and I leave feeling more capable in my abilities as a (very) soon-to-be doctor. One of my first weaknesses was my ability to pick up on murmurs, and so my first goal was to improve this skill. Another limitation for me is remembering all the drugs used for a variety of cardiac diseases. Once again, this rotation delivered on helping me build confidence in these areas.
Our wonderful cardiology team helped give tips on picking up on murmurs including tips on how to actually use your stethoscope correctly for maximizing your auscultation. Who knew!? There is really no class in vet school that teaches you the best way to use one of our most accessible tools. After two weeks, I feel more comfortable classifying murmurs based on location, timing, and intensity. I also feel better about possible differentials for those murmurs and how to speak with owners about what that could mean.
Over two weeks, I got to be a direct part of putting together diagnostic and treatment plans for several patients. One of the best parts of clinical year is getting to know the patients and the clients and those memorable experiences help to solidify the information that you have learned sitting in a classroom (that sometimes just won’t seem to stick!).
I really loved (hearted?) my time on cardiology. Up next, food animal medicine, and surgery!