To the Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023 and the incoming freshmen of the Class of 2024:
The Class of 2020 was gipped out of our last few months in clinics and our graduation ceremony and don’t get me wrong – it sucked, to say the very least. But my class was able to finish out our veterinary education career fairly minimally affected by this pandemic.
Right now, it remains to be seen how much you all will be affected. You had half your spring semester online; maybe you’ll return to online classes in the fall. Maybe your clinical year is getting delayed. Maybe your university’s hospital will still be on reduced caseload. Who knows what the future holds with this pandemic, and right now no one can predict the impact that this virus is going to have on your veterinary educational career.
And so, I’m sorry.
It’s not your fault, and you are paying the price for a circumstance that is no one’s fault.
But I want you all to be ready. I want you to be ready when things go back to normal. When you can finally be back in the lecture halls, I want you to take advantage of the clinicians you have in front of you. I want you to take advantage of the peers you have around you. Form study groups. Ask questions about the lectures. Engage in a way you can’t through a Zoom conference.
I want you to go to club meetings, and rounds, seminars…any opportunity you have to learn, I want you to seize it.
For clinical year students – I want you to go back to clinics ready to take them by storm. Ready to research cases, write out the best SOAPs, learn client communication and hone your clinical skills. I want you to be ready for whenever the hospitals go back to full capacity.
I want you to never take for granted the education you are getting – whether that is in the lecture hall or in the hospital.
I don’t know how this pandemic is going to fully affect you as a class. I don’t know what it is going to do to NAVLE testing or externships, to internship applications or graduation. I don’t know how it’ll change how veterinary school is taught.
But I do know that veterinary students are adaptable. I know they are intelligent beyond belief, eager, determined, passionate individuals. And whenever this quarantine ends, I want to see the character that makes being a vet student a part of your very DNA shine through.
I want you to be the best, and the Class of 2020 wishes you the best.