Third-year is exciting. It’s the first year you have real responsibilities in the hospital. We get to start doing surgeries and anesthesia rotations in the shelter med department. It’s also our last two semesters of classwork before transitioning to clinical rotations. Third-year is a time of change. We are no longer learning basic anatomy and physiology, and we need to start learning how to think more like doctors.
For me, the most exciting part has been getting to start performing spays and neuters in the shelter medicine department. I really like getting to work with real patients and feel like I am positively impacting their life. While these dogs and cats might only spend a few hours with me, their surgery allows them to be adopted into loving families and hopefully have a better life than when they arrived.
The other exciting part about third-year is getting to plan for fourth-year. I recently got my schedule for when clinics start in May and now I get to start preparing for each rotation. I have several that I am very excited about, like traveling to Alaska to learn about working dogs at a racing sled dog kennel. I also have some I’m pretty nervous about, like anesthesiology, which I have as my second rotation. Regardless of my fears, I am so ready to start learning in a clinical setting and getting out of the classroom.
Third-year is a time of big changes. My class has progressed from learning in the anatomy lab first-year to now applying our skills and helping patients in the shelter medicine department. It’s very exciting to see and I can’t wait to see all that I continue to learn and accomplish in 2021!