It’s really hard to believe that I am halfway through my veterinary education. It feels like yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting the start of first-year and completely uncertain if I was where I was supposed to be. If anyone had told me how fast the last two years would fly by I definitely would not have believed them at the time. While I am excited about moving ahead, I am also scared by how little time I have left to train before I am out working in “the real world.” I have decided to set some goals for myself to improve on this year that I think will help me be a better vet in the future!
1. I want to be better at client communication. While every veterinary professional I know (myself included) decided to enter the career for the animals, we can’t deny that the people are just as important. Humans are responsible for their animal’s everyday care, and they can often give us better insight into what ways their pet is not feeling well. Developing effective communication helps us collect better patient histories and is good for business. Animal owners want a vet that they can talk to and trust, and good communication can help prevent or settle disagreements that might have resulted in a loss of clientele if not handled properly. I want to continue building my communication skills so that I am not afraid to talk to clients once I graduate.
2. I want to improve my technical skills. At the practice I’m currently working at this summer, the vet techs do most of the technical things like drawing blood, placing catheters, etc. However, if it’s a difficult patient or we can’t find a vein, we call in our vet for backup. I know I may not be doing this all the time once I have graduated, but I need to be good enough that my support staff can rely on me for help when they need it. This is something I have already been working on this summer.
3. I want to improve my problem-solving skills. A big part of being a veterinarian is taking the information from patient history, physical exam findings, and other tests and getting it to all fit together into a diagnosis and treatment plan. I’m really hoping that my courses this year will help me with that. Third-year courses are “systems” based so we cover diseases and available treatments for each body system. I’m hoping that this will help me to become more confident at listing differential diagnoses and working through cases to get to an answer.
Third-year will be starting soon, and I am definitely excited! I’m happy and scared to be halfway through my vet school experience, but I am very excited to continue learning and growing.