Happy New Year!!

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 :)

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Happy Holidays Indeed!

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. :) 

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Airports…

… 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! :)

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Life is Goooood :)

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. :)

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Senior Amazingness

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 ;)

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Excitement :)

The next couple of months are going to be hectic… and scary… and hopefully pretty amazing. After this week on Clin Path (which is still fantastic – today I went out to lunch and then cupcakes with friends and was done at 4pm!), I have a week of vacation. I’ll be driving to L.A. on Saturday morning to spend a few days with my wonderful husband before flying to Seattle with two of my closest friends in the world. I adore Seattle, and have a ton of friends there from when I lived there ages ago. I haven’t been in over a year and a half, so I am super excited! I’ll be in Seattle Tuesday-Saturday, then driving back to Sacramento from L.A. on Sunday.

Monday morning I start a two week CAPE rotation. CAPE is our Companion Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery Service where all of the exotics and wildlife are seen. I’m really looking forward to it since it will be directly relevant to what I want to do. But I’m nervous – it’s notoriously a brutal rotation with extremely long days (like 16 hours +), tons of inpatients needing night and weekend treatments, and strict rules about record writing (they need to be novels). So I think I’ll learn a ton but be on the verge of a nervous breakdown at the end of the two weeks. But then! Another week of vacation! Drive down to L.A. again, and that Wednesday I’ll be flying to Baltimore to do my four week externship at Johns Hopkins! Aaahhh! It’s going to be amazing :)

It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. Residency application are due October 1st, and I have to find time to order a ton of transcripts, write a tons of essays, fill out applications, and secure letters of recommendation. I am very behind on all of those things. August is pretty much out with all of the traveling sandwiching a brutal rotation, which leaves last minute scrambling while I’m on externship. Also, I have not even started studying for boards, while a lot of my classmates are deep into studying schedules. Again, August is basically out, which means I won’t start until September for a test date in November or December. I’m starting to feel that there’s just no way I’ll be able to study and memorize enough to pass it. Which is pretty much the most debilitating thought ever. Yet here I am blogging. Not studying. I blame my lifelong tendency to procrastinate… but this is the one thing I should not be procrastinating about.

Anyway. Off to bed. I actually get 7-8 hours of sleep per night on this rotation! Craziness, but I’m not complaining and am taking fully advantage!

 

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Clinics!!

Sorry I haven’t posted in over a month! Clinics have definitely kept me busy! In a good way though… I have to say that I am really enjoying clinics. I absolutely love it. :) I was afraid of being completely miserable because I did not feel prepared and I felt like I had forgotten everything I learned during three years of  coursework. But even though I have forgotten a lot, and I don’t know all the answers when the clinicians ask me questions, I’ve also discovered that I know more than I realized. And more than that, vet school has taught me how to think about medicine, and that’s more important than all of the random facts I could pull out of my brain. I’m going to be a doctor in 10.5 months… and for the first time since starting this journey, I feel like I may actually made a good one someday. :)

About my rotations… anesthesia was freaking amazing. I completely fell in love with it and honestly, if I were small animal track, I would plan on an anesthesia residency. However, I’m individual track because my plan has always been (and still is) to get a lab animal medicine residency after vet school and then work as a clinical lab animal vet. I have, however, received the contact information for two vets that specialize in lab animal anesthesia and have e-mailed them to start some conversation. Because combining anesthesia and lab animal medicine would be my dream job :)

After that was two weeks of fish health, which was amazing!! I learned sooooo much (I started with nothing, so that’s not saying much, haha)! And it was a really fun rotation with lots of field trips :D  Trout and salmon hatchery, a sturgeon farm, a small local zoo, a koi breeder, a huge aquarium pet store, and the Steinhart Aquarium! It was pretty awesome, and I did get to develop some skills in fish diagnostics (necropsies, biopsies, skin scrapes, etc.). I was extremely happy that I was able to take that rotation, I found it really enjoyable and a great learning experience.

Lastly, I just finished my community med rotation (community medicine = general practice, what the average person takes their pet to the community veterinarian for). I was very nervous about the rotation because I have ZERO general practice experience besides as a client. All of my vet med experience before school was in emergency hospitals. I was overwhelmed by things that a lot of people in vet med would laugh at – vaccines, vaccine schedules, parasite management, etc. But the rotation went really well!! I learned so much (seems to be the common theme with all rotations, which is the point) and had a great time. There were times when it was stressful and I was definitely up late some nights writing records… but I love the rotation. I got to play with puppies and kittens and the clinicians were nice, patient, and great teachers. :)

Now I’ve been on my Clinical Pathology rotation for 2 days and it’s pretty awesome. It’s a great little break because it’s 9am-4pm and in a classroom. It’s a nice refresher for analyzing blood work, UA, and other fluids. We get lectures and cases and an actual lunch hour (GASP!). There are no inpatients, no records to write, and super short hours. I’m getting a great reminder of a ton of information I’ve already learned at some point (and have forgotten) and it’s a nice little break from the crazy rotations. Today I got to enjoy happy hour at deVere’s with some friends, probably the last rotation during which that will be a possibility!

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