Cue Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” because I’m finally halfway there.
Another 45 exams, 15 courses, and countless lunch and after-school meetings, I’m proud to say that I am 50% of a veterinarian. This past school year wasn’t without its own unique difficulties and challenges; however, at the end of the day, I couldn’t be prouder and more confident in the career path I’ve chosen and thankful for the people who have helped me along the way!
This year, classes transitioned from studying the basic physiologies and anatomies of the dog, cat, horse, cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry species in year one, to looking more in depth at things that might challenge their systems. We studied bacteria in Bacteriology, fungi in Mycology, viruses in Virology, parasitic worms and bugs in Parasitology, poisons and toxins in Toxicology, pharmaceutical drugs in Pharmacology, and how certain diseases affect specific areas of the body in Pathology. In our Public Health and Epidemiology courses, we also took a closer look at the Human-Animal Bond, the One Health initiative, and how veterinarians play a key role in the detection and prevention of disease spread in our communities.
Just when the new Spring semester was beginning to settle in, our lives and the way we learn was uprooted with the spread of COVID-19. This sent us all home to watch our classes and take exams remotely online for the remainder of the semester, but also gave us a little more free time and relaxation than we normally would have had! Ironically, just as the pandemic began to take root throughout the U.S. and world, my classmates and I prepared for a Virology exam that included many Coronavirus family viral strains that can infect and have been infecting animals throughout the U.S. and world for a long time. Although the extended break from class has been nice, I’m hoping that when the Fall semester rolls around we will be able to get back to the normal lectures and labs that we are use to!
As some of you might have seen already, for my final summer break while in vet school I am back at Alexandria Animal Hospital! I love getting to utilize and test the knowledge and skills I’ve learned over the past few years and getting the chance to learn from, observe, and assist Drs. Chastain and Phelps. Over the past 4 years, this clinic has grown to be my family and my home, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities and experiences it has given me!
I look forward to seeing all of you and your furry, four-legged family members this summer!
Stay safe. Stay healthy.