With my clinical time as a student at Cornell wrapping up, I thought it would b a good idea to provide a few more reflections about what I have learned. The lessons keep coming every single day!
- You will go through rotations that you do not like. It is a simple fact, but that is life! Not everything you do in life will be something that you like, and sometimes you will have to grin and bear it. That highlights one of the most beautiful parts of veterinary medicine: there is something for everyone. Taking a rotation and not liking it means that you have narrowed down your choices for the best career path for you.
- People will remember what it was like to work alongside you. You do not need to focus on knowing everything or being the best prospective surgeon your school has ever seen. But, if you focus on working with your classmates to meet a common goal, people will remember your efforts and how you made them feel at that time. These people are going to be your colleagues, and this is how we will make our profession grow; by learning from and helping others.
Be open to new subjects and new areas of veterinary medical practice. It is not uncommon for people to discover new life trajectories during their fourth-year and follow them to their fullest. I had some rotations really surprise me in terms of my interests. For example, Small Animal Internal Medicine is known as being one of the most rigorous rotations here at Cornell. I went into this rotation over the Christmas and New Year holidays a little reluctantly, but this rotation ended up being one of my favorites. There were other rotations that I planned on truly enjoying and ended up being a little underwhelmed with them.
The point is that putting yourself into new situations where you are learning new things may surprise you and sometimes dramatically change the projection of your career because of the revelations you will find. I even just met a veterinarian that found laboratory animal medicine during his last semester of veterinary school. That was many years ago, and he has been a lab animal vet working on primates ever since. It just goes to show that you truly never know what opportunities may come your way!