Becoming a DVM: Year 1
After completing 60 quizzes, 46 exams, 17 courses and 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, I am proud to say that I am now one-quarter of my way to becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Now, only 3 short years, and a multitude of new coursework and exciting challenges, stands between me and a daily wardrobe of white coats and stethoscopes.
The first year wasn’t easy by any means. There were a lot of late nights memorizing the ion channels in the distal tubules of the kidneys and many early Saturday and Sunday mornings repetitively recalling the differences in the carpi (wrists) and tarsi (ankles) between our pets and domesticated livestock species. However, all the long days and lost sleep were so worth it. After three years in undergrad learning the basic sciences, finally, we were able to learn and practice the things that drew us to veterinary medicine in the first place. For me, some of these included learning how to read and interpret bloodwork, getting to practice blood draws and IV catheter placements on models and our canine educators, and diving into the different organ systems of the body and how they work together to maintain homeostasis (achieving equilibrium in our bodies to maintain life).
Before starting the academic year in the fall, all of the first-year students were required to participate in a week-long onboarding period to acclimate ourselves to the school opportunities and expectations, curriculum, and our new classmates. At first, it was a bit daunting. All 84 first year students gathered in the main lecture hall and were told that the next 4 years of our lives we would call this place home and that the 83 strangers surrounding us would soon be some of our closest friends. On top of that, we were given our schedule for the semester, which consisted of class from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. most days of the week.
As our first days together grew to our first weeks and then our firsts months, vet school transitioned from a seemingly intimidating, indomitable, and insurmountable place to our home. It’s a place where we can learn and laugh, practice clinical skills and plan numerous social gatherings, and cultivate our leadership and business skill, all while surrounded by some of the closest friends I’ve ever had.
Now that the spring semester has transitioned into summer break, my classmates and I have left “home,” some have gone back to their actual hometowns to work in local clinics and some have traveled to internships and study abroad trips across the United States and across the world. Here, we can put our newly found skills and knowledge to the test and hopefully learn something new along the way.
As much needed and deserved that summer break is, I can’t wait to get back to school in the fall to begin my second year and to be another quarter closer to becoming a DVM!