It’s already halfway through my clinical year and I cannot believe it. There’s a mix of emotions. I’m excited to start my life outside of school, see my own clients, and progress my veterinary career. On the other hand, it’s SO SCARY to finally be out on our own as DOCTORS. I can’t believe the time is approaching. I’ve been through a lot of rotations that have been challenging but my block mates have made it bearable, fun, and an overall supportive environment. On the other hand, I’ve had rotations where a few of my block mates made things more difficult for the team.
I’m writing this post because one of the most common questions I get from students that are about to enter clinics is, “How do I survive clinics?”. I can’t believe I’m finally in the position to dish out this advice to future clinical year students. Anyone that has followed my veterinary school journey knows that I’m brutally honest about it and have talked openly about my own imposter syndrome.
I wanted to share one huge piece of advice to all the soon-to-be-clinical-year students before they enter the best year of vet school. Here it is: BE A TEAM PLAYER. We all made it through the didactic years of vet school. We all received a wholesome education (even if we don’t feel like we remember anything). We all know we are capable. None of the interns, residents, or clinicians expect us to know everything when you enter clinics. They just want us to try and be immersed in our cases to learn. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most book smart student, but I am a team player and that’s what’s gotten me through the year. You could construct the perfect list of differentials, read bloodwork perfectly, and suggest all the right diagnostic procedures, but if you’re also the student arriving at clinics later/leaving earlier than your block mates, dodging cases, and only working towards your own benefit, YOU WILL STRUGGLE. Don’t be that person. Help your block mates and work as a team. Although these kinds of behaviors are often overlooked by our superiors in the clinics, all they are doing is creating bad habits that will follow you into your real job when YOU’RE in charge of running a team. So show up, work hard, and be a team player.