My first clinical rotation of veterinary school is Large Animal Neonatology and ICU. Out of all the rotations I signed up for during my fourth year, I am most terrified of this one.
During the spring semester of my second year I took the Neonatology elective and although I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot, I did not do so well on the final exam. It was a unique exam in that it was not simply 45 multiple questions, but rather a series of clinical scenarios. Up until this class, my grades were solely based on how well I could remember discrete pieces of information (“confetti brain,” as my one professor calls it). As one might imagine, at that point in my schooling career I was nowhere close to “thinking like a doctor,” and my ability to appropriately answer those questions was reflected in my grade.
Over the last two months, the electives I have taken have really helped transition my thinking from that of “What inane piece of information will they ask on this test?” to “What is clinically relevant here?” Thus far, the transition has been relatively painless. I was immersed in electives ranging in topic from reproduction to diagnostic imaging, and never felt as though I needed to remember which enzyme did what, but rather how everything played into the bigger clinical picture.
Now, as I start my first clinical rotation, I am really going to be putting that knowledge to the test. Here goes nothing!