Happy Thanksgiving!

I haven’t blogged in almost 3 months. I think one reason is that I used this blog a lot to rant about and alleviate the stress of veterinary school. And now, I don’t really have much to rant about and I don’t have much stress. :) Also, throughout veterinary school I lived apart from my husband, so was alone and bored in the evenings a lot of times. Now I come home to my wonderful husband, and we cook dinner, watch TV, spend time together, run errands, etc. And lastly, i can’t really talk much about my patients and the medicine I’m practicing because of the nature of the field I’m in. And if I can’t talk about what I worked so hard to do, on a blog about my veterinary journey, what else should I talk about? I’ve thought about using this blog as a place to promote lab animal med, talk about my path in the specialty, and offer advice to pre-vet and veterinary students interested in the field. We’ll see.

My residency is still going really well! I literally learn new things every single day, and I love that. I’m gaining confidence as a doctor, but it’s still hard for me to believe sometimes. Hopefully I’ll eventually settle into it ;) Especially now that we’re currently interviewing candidates for the new residents that will start in July. It’s very surreal that we’re interviewing for the new residents, crazy!!

Thanksgiving was great! I’m on call over the four day weekend, and Scott had to work yesterday and is working today, so we stayed at home for the holiday. We missed our family, as we’ve spent every Thanksgiving for the past many year with Scott’s dad and sister. But we ordered a huge Thanksgiving dinner from Giant, and it included a turkey (I really only had to heat it up, haha), mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, and an apple pie! And you know what? It was actually really delicious! We were shocked out how good it was. Which is good, because it feeds 6-8 people, so we’ll be eating it for a few days ;)

Being on call this weekend isn’t that bad. I had a few calls yesterday, but didn’t have to do in. I was able to prescribe some mouse treatments via email. I have to go in at some point today to release some animals from quarantine, which won’t take very long. And even if I end up working like crazy today and through the weekend, I had Thanksgiving at home, with my husband, and enjoyed our dinner together :) Plus, the first year residents stay in town during the AALAS conference and are on call for the three big holidays (Thanksgiving and New Years for me, Christmas for the other first year resident), which means for the next two years, I get to go to the conference and I am off for the three big holidays. That’s a pretty good trade off! :)

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving, and I’ll try to update more often!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Aaaand I Spoke Too Soon

Remember how in my last post I said I was waiting for something bad to happen to balance out all of the good? Well the universe read that and saw an opportunity to shit on me. The same day that I wrote that, my husband decided to take my car into the shop because it shakes pretty badly when you go above 60 mph. On the way to the shop, he rolled down the window. It would not roll back up. The verdict? A new tie rod, a new regulator for the automatic window, and two new tires. I wouldn’t care too much about the window, but both that and the tires will apparently cause my car to fail inspection. Stupid state with inspection. All of those repairs are about $750. Ouch. We took the car home to talk/think about it, but in the end decided we didn’t really have an option. We aren’t in a place to buy a new car, it’s not feasible to just never drive my car over 60 mph, and it has to pass inspection. So we dropped it off today to get all of the repairs done.

That SAME NIGHT, Simon (my 11 year old thick headed boy kitty) ate several pieces of rope-like string. I don’t think I blogged about it, but Simon had an enterotomy 2 weeks before graduation because he ate multiple pieces of a tulle skirt that were obstructing his jejunum and threatening perforation. So here we are, 2.5 months later, and he eats more foreign material. So I freaked out, tried to induce vomiting with H2O2 (ugh, never works in kitties!), and watched him all night. The next day he was fine, eating, active, etc. But I was crazy worried so I took him to a local emergency vet for abdominal rads. He had foreign material in his colon, but otherwise the abdomen was clear. Thank GOD. He passed some feces with string in it over the weekend, and has been perfectly normal. That punk had me so worried.

So it was a stressful few days. I started my new rotation today, and it began with a 7:50am call to look at a sick sheep. I had just gotten to the office early to get my coffee, read my email, and ease into my day. But it started with chaos and didn’t really end. And this week is shaping up to continue in that fashion. I’ll have to talk about it all later, I need to get back to my journal club presentation…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Life in Philly… as a Doctor

I feel pretty fortunate to have the life that I’m living. It was long and hard road to get here, but here I am. I have the most amazing and supportive marriage, I live in a bustling, lively, fun city, I graduated from vet school and am now working in my dream residency. A part of me is seriously waiting for something terrible to happen, to balance out all of this greatness.

My residency is going well. I’m learning so much every day, and specifically learning how to navigate treatments and such in this environment. It’s very different from a vet clinic setting! This program is so great, because I get experience with large animals and with rodents on every rotation. Just this week I’ve already seen a ton of mouse cases, some rat cases, a couple of sick pigs, gave some pigs mineral oil rubs (which they LOVE!), and did physical exams on new quarantine ferrets. The ferrets, by the way, are punks. They’re cute punks, but punks nonetheless. Bitey, toothy little punks, haha. And today I will do physical exams on some kittens. <3 And next week I will neuter a pig :-o Slowly but surely, I’m also starting to believe that I’m actually a doctor. I’m beginning to gain confidence in my knowledge and abilities, and that’s pretty awesome. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m on my way to really feeling like a doctor.

This week is my last on this rotation (we have 4 rotations and spend two months at a time on each). Next week I start a new rotation, and in addition to mice and rats, I will be responsible for dogs, different cats, sheep, and aquatics. How cool is that?! One of the reasons I love this field so much is the wonderful variety of species. One of the huge reasons, actually. In what other field of vet med can you learn about and treat so many different animals?

Living in Philadelphia has also proven to be really, really great. I’ve been going hiking almost every weekend, and it’s been somewhere different every time. And there are still so many places I haven’t explored. There’s also a lot of great food here, and the museums are really incredible. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is enormous and inspiring; Scott and I spent 5 hours in there and still didn’t see everything! We have also visited the Mutter Museum, which I linked to in my last post – I was fascinated the whole time and want to go back. There are many other museums that we haven’t had the chance to visit yet, not to mention the zoo is apparently incredible and there are some beautiful arboretums. Oh yeah, and all of the historical monuments and sight seeing in downtown.

We live in a duplex in a suburb of Philly; this adorable, quiet, everyone walks their dogs and stroller kind of suburb. And I really love it. It’s about a 25 minute commute to work, but being from L.A., that’s nothing. It’s worth it to come home to such a lovely place at night.

Honestly, I’m loving living in Philly more and sooner than I expected. This city is pretty awesome, and I wouldn’t mind settling down here. Of course, you should ask me how I feel once Winter hits, haha. And my residency is so fantastic, not only the animals but the people as well. Things are pretty sweet right now, and I hope they only continue to get sweeter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Life is Good

20130818-160436.jpg

Spending an amazing day with my husband in Philly and falling in love with the city more and more. Incredible breakfast, Mutter Museum, and sipping coffee outside. :)

More about how residency is going later!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I Did It :)

It’s been awhile since my last post, but clinics are crazy and the time just got away from me and flew by. Before I knew it, it was June 12th, my last day of clinics. I was on C Barn (our food animal service – cows, pigs, goats, sheep) and it was wonderfully dead. I spent much of the day roaming the VMTH, taking pictures inside and out, chatting with anyone and everyone. At 5 pm, we were officially done. The seniors all met outside the VMTH for a champagne toast :)

My friends and family all came into town, and on July 14th, I graduated from veterinary school. The ceremony was beautiful and I cried plenty… and now, just like that, I’m a veterinarian. I’m a doctor. It still doesn’t seem real.

My husband and I packed up and on the Wednesday after graduation, we moved ourselves and our 5 cats across country. It was very bittersweet. I was incredibly sad to leave behind my friends – those in L.A. as well as those in Davis – and had spent the last couple of weeks hanging out with them as much as possible. It was hard to drive away not knowing when I’d see any of them again. But it was also exciting, driving across country to start our new life.

Now we’re here, in Philadelphia. We have a nice place in a fantastic neighborhood and are getting settled in. We’re almost there, just a few more boxes to unpack. :) Tonight my wonderful husband cooked our first home cooked meal and it was delicious. Now he’s making dessert, and we’re going to spend the evening relaxing and watching Friday Night Lights.

On Monday, I start my first job as a veterinarian; a lab animal resident at UPenn. I’m simultaneously terrified and excited. I don’t feel at all ready, but I can’t wait to start the journey!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Loving Life :)

First and foremost… I PASSED THE NATIONAL BOARD EXAM!! :D I actually absolutely believed that I failed it. It was a horrible torture of an exam and I thought for sure that I’d be retaking it. But nope!! I effing PASSED! I cannot express what an enormous relief that is. Screw that exam, it was awful. But I beat it and never have to take it again.

Also, I officially accepted the residency offer from University of Pennsylvania, and got the official written offer in the mail several days ago. I cannot wait to start that next step in my journey. I loved the program, I loved the people, and how amazing that they loved me, too? :) My life is not unfolding the way I imagined. It is a million times better than I ever thought possible. It is almost like a fairy tale… just 6-7ish years ago I was a punk chick with a terrible job and no direction. No motivation. Headed for a life of bitter jadedness and resentment. I am forever grateful that my fabulous husband (just my boyfriend at the time) not only stuck by my side, but encouraged me to follow my dreams and go back to school. And now here I am… I will be a doctor in less than 4 months, and start a residency at the University of Pennsylvania in less than 5. Aww, cheesy. I can’t help it, I never saw myself making it to this point. There were even multiple times throughout vet school when I didn’t think I belonged there and that I would never graduate.

As for what I’m up to now, I’m in beautiful San Diego, participating in an 8 week lab animal medicine externship at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. It is a truly amazing and inspiring place, and I am thrilled to be getting part of my education there. I have finished 2 weeks, and have already learned an incredible amount. The clinical veterinarian is really amazing and loves teaching. Also, being in San Diego, living with my in-laws, means I get to see my husband every. single. weekend!! We’ve lived 6 hours apart through all of vet school, and I’m used to seeing him once every 3-5 weeks, so seeing him every weekend is so wonderful!

TL;DR version: I passed the NAVLE. I graduate as a doctor in less than 4 months. I start a lab animal medicine residency at UPenn July 1st. I’m doing an externship at the Salk Institute. I currently get to see my husband every weekend. Yeah… I am loving life right now. :)

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Path – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’m on my anatomic pathology rotation right now, which is pretty cool actually. I like necropsy because I find it fascinating and I like discovering the pathology within the patient because it may give grieving owners answers. Today, however, was not fun. 

We start the actually necropsies after lunch, usually around 12:30 or 1. The morning is spent on rounds from the previous day’s cases and discussing the cases for that day. Since we only had 1 case yesterday (for 7 students!), and only 1 today, we had a two hour break – 11am-1pm. Then, once we hit the floor, another case came in. And then another. And then one came in at 5pm, which is too late for same day necropsy… except this was a calf with an infectious reportable disease and so the necropsy absolutely has to be done on the same day. Ugh. So we had a two hour break with absolutely nothing to do and then were all there until 8pm between necropsies (way more complicated and in depth than most people realize), cleaning, and writing the path reports. Of course, there have been many days I’ve been at the VMTH later than that, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain. 

I also cut myself today. With a dull scalpel. That was covered in deceased dog blood and joint fluid!! UUUGH. So I flushed it for about 10 minutes, then put antibacterial ointment and a band-aid on it and returned to the floor. I declined going to occupational health because there was so much to do. I was just told if I start to notice red lines racing up my arm to go to the hospital ;) 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized