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. :)
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 ;)
Happy New Year everyone!! It’s 2013… this is the year that I graduate. The year that I finally become a doctor. The year I become a resident. I can’t believe that the year I graduate is actually here. When I applied for vet school in 2008, 2013 sounded SO far away! And now it’s here. I graduate from vet school in 5.5 months, and start my residency at UPenn 2 weeks after that. Crazy. Crazy and amazing.
I spent a good portion of the night actually at the VMTH. I was on call overnight for anesthesia, and they called me in at 5:30pm for a corneal ulceration repair. I was bummed at the prospect of bringing in the new year in the hospital. Not just bummed, angry and frustrated. I had an amazing potluck party to attend with all of my closest friends. I really wanted to ring in the new year with them, since it’s our grad year. Well, I was stoked to be done at about 10pm, just in time to hear that there was another case coming in. The doctor told me to go to my potluck to eat some dinner, and that she would call me when they were ready to take the dog to surgery. So I went to the potluck, waiting to be called back. But then suddenly it was 10 till midnight and I had sparkling cider in my hand ready to cheers. I got to ring in the new year full of good food and surrounded by great friends and laughs. :)
It’s now 2am, and I still haven’t gotten that call. Maybe the doctor took pity on me (I was visibly pissed at having to be there), maybe they decided not to go to surgery tonight, or maybe I’ll still get called in at some point. Either way, I’m thrilled that I didn’t bring in the new year recording vitals during an ocular surgery :)
There I go again, not posting for a month. But it was a really crazy month… I ended up being on nineteen (!!!) airplane flights in the course of 3.5 weeks. It was pretty insane. I went and interviewed for residency positions at Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University. I ended up turning down interviews at Tulane and Yale, because of scheduling and the fact that I really loved the places I already interviewed. Also, somewhere mixed in there, I took the NAVLE. It was awful and terrible and horrible. A six hour exam designed to make me feel like an idiot and like I haven’t learned a single thing in vet school! But it’s over (for now, haha) and I won’t find out if I passed or failed until the end of next month.
I did get possibly the best Christmas present ever, in the form of an e-mail I received when I got back to the hotel after my interview at Ohio… I have been offered a residency position at the University of Pennsylvania!!! AAaahhhhh!! I am over the top thrilled, as it has remained my favorite place and the place that I really feel I belong through all of the interviews. I am SO EXCITED about this!! I haven’t officially accepted the offer yet, as my husband would prefer that I see what other offers come my way and then weigh the programs. I’ve also been offered a position at The Ohio State, but Vanderbilt and Michigan don’t send out offers until next month. However, in my heart I know I belong at UPenn, and Scott and I have already been looking into the move and the logistics of that. But it’s so amazing… I will be a resident in six months. :D
The holidays themselves were great. I spent some time with my mom and brother while I was in Columbus for my interview, as they only live 3 hours away from there. I couldn’t afford a ticket to Ohio for Christmas, so they just joined me in Columbus for a few days and it was so wonderful that I got to see them. :) We went to the zoo and dinner and just hung out and had a great time. Then for Christmas I had a break from clinics and spent it with my husband and in-laws in San Diego, it was a great and relaxing holiday.
Now I’m back in Sacramento, and am covering anesthesia during the New Years holiday. So I’m on call all day today, all night tonight, and then from 6pm-8am until January 2nd. I am positive I’ll get called in a couple of times, but it’s nice to sit back and just relax otherwise. I start my anatomic pathology rotation next, and I’m excited for it because I actually really like pathology. I’ve also heard great things about the rotation, so I’m looking forward to it. It will be hard to live up to my last rotation though… on primate med I got to amputate 3 digits, repair multiple lacerations (some of which had deep muscle involvement and were pretty complicated), and extract 2 adult macaque canine teeth. Pretty freaking amazing!
And now… back to couch, electric blanket, and TV. :)
… are like my second home right now. Which is a good thing, but for someone with severe flight anxiety, it’s a little rough to be on so many flights. But the reason is a great one – lots of residency interviews!! I’ve only had one so far, but it involved six (!!) flights.
Sac –> Ontario (CA) –> Chicago –> Philadelphia
Philadelphia –> Denver –> Sac –> San Diego
That’s right, Philadelphia! I was there interviewing for a residency position at University of Pennsylvania, and I fell in love with it. The people were amazing, the program sounds absolutely incredible, and as of right now I would absolutely love to be offered a position there. I probably won’t know anything until January though.
I ended up in San Diego on Wednesday after 11 total hours of traveling. But I was greeted at the airport by my husband, whom I adore more than anything in the world. And then we went to his dad and sister’s house and I had a glorious several days of family, snoozing, cuddling with my husband, and delicious DELICIOUS Thanksgiving food! There was also some boards studying in there, but it was such a nice little vacation. Then I got on another stupid plane and flew back to Sacramento tonight. Leaving my husband was heart wrenching, as always, but I was greeted by five sweet kitties who I missed very much, so at least there’s that :)
Tomorrow I start my Primate Medicine rotation, which I’m very excited about. But I’m only there three days this week, because I’m flying to Detroit for my University of Michigan interview on Thursday. I come back on Saturday the 1st, and then I’m off again on December 9th to interview at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Later that week and into next week I’m flying to Ohio to interview at The Ohio State University and to New Haven, CT to interview at Yale University. It’s an extremely stressful and exciting time in my life right now. I am still shocked that five programs are interested in me, honestly. I’ve never seen myself as an excellent candidate for… anything. I’m honored and excited to interview at all of these amazing programs and am just hope hope hoping that one of them offers me a position.
It’s wonderful and scary that I have no idea where I will be or what I’ll be doing 6.5 months from now! :)
Today was rainy and windy, which is my favorite kind of weather. :) And tonight it’s all dark and cold and almost stormy, and I have busted out my favorite electric blanket from the closet. I’m all snuggled up on the couch with my sweet kitties (it’s not me they love, it’s the heated blanket!), drinking some hard cider, and studying for boards. I’m taking the NAVLE December 6th, and have adopted a relaxed approach to studying. Life is pretty swell right now :)
Oh yeah. Also: I GOT AN INTERVIEW AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN for their lab animal medicine residency program!! :D I haven’t heard from any other programs yet, but just knowing that one program wants to talk to me is a huge relief and extremely exciting. They’re flying me out for the interview on November 29th. :)
I think this is the longest I’ve gone without posting. I’ve just been insanely busy on clinics! CAPE was super amazing. It was intense, long hours, completely exhausting and definitely my hardest rotation yet… but it was great!! I learned so much and had a great time. My patients included a 5′ iguana, a hedgehog, and a 50 pound turkey! :) And then I was in Baltimore doing a 4 week externship at Johns Hopkins… and that was incredible. The residents were really awesome and gave me and the other extern so many opportunities to jump in and gain hands-on experience. I did so many things that I hadn’t done before and was able to practice some lab animal handling skills that were slightly rusty. It helped confirm that lab animal med is what I want to do with my DVM :) And now, I’ve just finished a 2 week rotation on C-Barn – at the VMTH in Davis, that’s the livestock medicine and surgery service. And that was also amazing!! Cows and sheep and goats and pigs! So much fun :D
Man. Fourth year is intense. It’s incredibly hard and hectic and sleep depriving. There are many times that I am behind and so exhausted and there are times I feel like I don’t know anything. But holy crap, it’s a million times better than the first three years. I am loving clinics! I am actually learning how to be a doctor and practicing at it. THIS is what it’s about. THIS is why I came to vet school. I am putting into practice my medical knowledge and managing medical cases and communicating with clients and making decisions to help my adorable and amazing patients. Sure beats sitting in lecture for eight hours a day and cramming for exams ;)