Journal Entry #2

11 November, 2005

    Wow, I hadn't realised I had not written in such a long time.  Almost a month!  Well this is good because I have a lot to say.  I am now finished with my small animal rotations for most of the term (Martinmas).  I will now give a brief summary of each.  First came soft tissue surgery.  It was quite boring, with a lot of time spent in the library working on cases for our Friday tutorial.  Wednesday we went to the cat and dog home at Cardonald, where we got to do two bitch spays (since there are 3 students in my group, me and another student did half a spay each and the third student did an entire spay...except for closing, which our supervisor did).  That was a lot of fun and I definitely feel more confident after my summer RAVS experience.  Thursday, I got to scrub in for a TECA/LBO (total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy) surgery.  The surgeon was really nice and I got to write a brief surgery report (including treatment plan) afterwards, and SOAP the patient twice daily.  Friday we were all a bit worried over grand rounds, because we had a case to present.  One of the other students in my group ended up doing the actual presenting (I almost did, but she didn't mind and I was afraid I might mess it up for everyone - so I let her do it).  Just prior to the grand rounds session, I scrubbed in for an exploratory laparotomy.  It was quite interesting.

    The next week we had anaesthesia, which is my favourite.  I love anaesthesia and I love the anaesthetists.  :)  So it was a great week.  We went to see a horse surgery on Monday afternoon (some sort of orthopaedics thing I think), and I actually intubated the horse!  Pretty cool.  We had several tutorials that week (CPR, treatment of shock, breathing circuits, common anaesthesia problems).  But most of the week was spent helping plan anaesthesia protocols for various patients, and actually seeing the protocols through (doing a pre-anaesthesia exam, giving pre-meds, inducing, intubating, and monitoring throughout).  Probably the most boring part was when I had an animal (or two) in MRI, when you really can't do much in terms of monitoring (just capnography) - and being in the tiny MRI truck for an hour, just standing there.  Friday, we had a mock OSCE.  It was fun (especially because I did pretty well!). 

    The third week was our PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) week.  It was a blast!  We had to be there at 10am each morning (I left the house shortly after 9am to catch the bus in Anniesland) and left around 5pm each evening.  We had 1.5-2 hours for lunch!  PDSA is in city centre, so we had lots of cool places to eat for lunch.  Of course - the vet stuff was cool too. :)  We had a room split into two, all to ourselves (me and the 2 other students in my group).  We had a supervisor, a very nice vet who works for the vet school, who would examine each animal, discuss treatment plans with us, and double check drug dosages.  She also gave us a few tutorials (case discussions).  We did all the client-communication and any necessary diagnostics (I drew blood, did PCVs, did urinalyses, did blood smears, did skin scrapes, and even did an abdominal ultrasound!).  The highlight of the week for me was seeing a bird case, though some of my other cases were quite interesting (lots of dermatology).  We had a mock OSCE that Friday as well, and I did just fine again (feeling good!).

    The last (4th) week of small animal rotations, we did radiography.  It was SO boring!  I feel like I did a lot of sitting around, reading radi-ography/-ology books.  We had about 8-10 animals to x-ray each day, and the goal was for us to learn proper positioning, how to measure and put the correct settings in the machine, and to practice our radiation safety.  Boring, boring, boring but I do feel I got *something* out of it.  We had a tutorial on Thursday, and a 5-minute presentation to give on Friday. 

    Now, I'm on "core rotations" for farm animals (and public health).  This week it's just been lots of tutorials and one lecture.  We've had a sheep tutorial, a cow tutorial, a horse tutorial, field surgery practical (did surgery on a dead cow in the post mortem room), and an epidemiology (yawn) lecture.  Oh yeah, we also had communication skills (practical) which was pretty fun (real actors that role play with us! They can be scary!).  OH - and "State Veterinary Medicine"...yikes, but it wasn't that bad (mostly about reportable diseases and welfare problems). 

    Other news here - I finished my 24 applications for the VIRMP (internship matching programme).  I sent them off to each university (and 1 private practice), and also sent off one letter of recommendation.  Another is being written by someone in the US, and another is coming from a professor here (I'm still pestering him and it's still not written).  The transcripts will go out on Monday, hopefully.  The due date for all this is December 5th, which is less than 1 month away (and when we send things by mail here to the US, it may take over 1 week).  The rank list is not due until January, but I have a pretty good ranking list going already.  I don't think it will change too much in the future. 

    I'm getting increasingly worried about the board exams!  December 9th is the NAVLE and December 19th is the California State Board.  I feel like what little studying I'm doing is not enough.  I can never know everything, but I feel like I'm not learning anything.  I just can't wait until it's all over and that I hopefully pass (at least the NAVLE). 


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