When I was randomly scanning through all the studying files on my computer, I happened to find the powerpoint presentation that one of our professors gave us in our second year of veterinary school. It was at a lunch meeting and he shared with us his experience of going through veterinary school, Ph.D., residency and board examination. One thing that he pointed out but sounds harsh is that veterinary school does not fully prepare you for your career. This resonates with what I’ve heard from another professor before that veterinary school only teaches you the basics that you need to be a veterinarian, and your life working as a veterinarian will teach you the rest. If I learned only one thing from my 22 years of schooling, that is learning never comes to an end.
While at school, we listen to lectures, refer to textbooks, seek help from classmates, reach out to professors and there are numerous other ways that we can utilize to facilitate learning. There is an old proverb that goes “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Learning how to learn is far more, if not equally, important as learning itself. I remember so clearly that one day during my exotic animal rotation, we were discussing bacteria in bird’s feces. Our professor extended the question further and asked us what type of bacteria we will be expecting to find in feces of animals of different species. He then guided us to start our thought process by thinking about the animal’s food source. At the end of our discussion, it became clear to us that learning how to think through a problem matters more than just figuring out the answer itself.
I am glad that my colleagues in the veterinary profession are a group of highly motivated people and the veterinary profession itself is an ever-developing profession which I feel privileged to be part of. Stay humble, stay hungry.