Day 1: Mouse Ceca!

So my plan for this summer is to update daily about my day at UCLA :) I started my internship today, and worked 9.5 hours! It was a long day, but a lot of fun. After getting there and sitting with the doctor I’ll be working with for a bit just talking and getting things going, he took me down to the clinical laboratories to work with them. They were processing mice for their sentinel program (University of Connecticut Center for Comparative Medicine has a great definition of a sentinel program – it’s basically a way to monitor all of the mice and rats in a facility for pathogens in order to keep them clean and healthy). My job was to take the removed cecum and large intestine, empty the contents, and examine them under the dissecting scope for live pinworms. This might not sound like fun to some people, but I loved it! It was relevant, interesting, important, and involved lab animal medicine. :) It took the entire morning, and by the time we were done it was almost 1pm and time to go to lunch.

After lunch I spent some time reading up on mice (anatomy, physiology, medicine, etc.) from this enormous book. Then I went with the veterinarian to the IACUC meeting. The meeting lasted 2.5 hours, and it was pretty cool. I got to hear about all of the protocols up for review and the concerns all of the members had about them and the animal welfare issues. It was really interesting and another area of the field that I will be dealing with in me professional career.

Then I hung out with the veterinarian while he looked at some histology slides. He’s double boarded through ACLAM and ACVP (oh yeah, and he has a PhD – crazy) so he works as a pathologist as well as a lab animal vet. He was reviewing some slides for an investigator, and making reports with his findings. We were using a double headed microscope so that I could see the slides as well, and the whole time he was asking me questions. I could answer some of them, but there were lots that I couldn’t. I’ve learned a lot in vet school but I’ve also forgotten a lot along the way. But that’s why this is great experience – learning a ton and also getting some refreshers along the way. Histology was first quarter of first year, so I could definitely use it!

And now, I’m going to relax for just a bit and then head to bed. It was a great day, but very long, and I’m BEAT!

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