The content of this blog reflects my personal experiences and opinions during my veterinary school education. It does not reflect the experiences or opinions of my classmates, colleagues, or the UC Davis School of Veterinary medicine. If you wish to contact me via email: hamaleo11@gmail.com

Monday, January 31, 2011

What is Vet School Like? Part 2

So I didn't mean to scare a lot of people with Part 1 of my "What is Vet School Like" post, but I want you to know that it's just different from undergraduate courses. Don't be afraid of what a vet school schedule is like, just be prepared to handle it. Well, quite honestly, I wasn't that "prepared to handle it" my first quarter, I was trying to figure out what study methods worked for me.

There are a lot of things I wish I would have done to prepare myself for Vet School and kind of had to figure out myself. I will highlight some of the things that will prepare you to be a successful vet student.

Know what study methods work for you and stick to them! If you don't know what type of learner you are, there are lots of online quizzes that will determine if you are more an auditory learner, visual learner, kinestetic learner, etc.

Also, choosing who to study with. Realize that as a veterinarian, you will be part of a profession, working with others in your profession is essential. Don't forget this, even in vet school! Your classmates are your greatest resources and guess what, you're all going through the same thing! You can get caught up in competition in your undergraduate education. Some people are very serious about getting into veterinary school. I understand your concerns, but once you are in vet school you are destined to become a veterinarian. You should no longer try to be so competitive with your classmates, you are now like a big family. You will spend every day together! Help each other out. Don't hesitate to work with others. If you make a really good study guide for an upcoming exam or find a really cool study link, share it with your classmates! They will only thank you for it and hopefully return the favor when you are in need.

Don't hesitate to get involved in some clubs, they can provide you really interesting lectures, field trips, and other events. You can also frequently get free lunch! I'm a member of the Veterinary Business Management Association which is a great club with really awesome events (this one is worth joining for the four years ~$30). I'm a member of SCAVMA, which is a really cool club on campus. They give money to campus clubs, student travel funds, and so much more. I'm also a member of the Wildlife Medicine Club even though I'm not really interested in practicing within the realm of wildlife, I find it very interesting to learn more about wild animals and how we can help them. They also have really cool speakers and field trips. I am a proud member of the Equine Medicine Club on campus and we have "rounds" every other week or so which includes dinner! It's great, cause we have one of the residents come in and go over some case examples with us. This is much funner than an actual lecture and I've learned a lot already. So these are just a couple of clubs I'm involved in. I'm also a writer for the Waggie (our vet school newspaper) and I co-write a professor interview section with one of my classmates. It gives me a great opportunity to get closer to my professors and get to know them on a more personal level. They also seem to enjoy being interviewed. There is such a thing as getting too involved, so I caution you to ease into club activities slowly until you know how much time and resources you can commit to them, but don't hesitate to try them out.

As a vet student, you are able to volunteer your time helping animals in so many different ways.
Fix Our Ferals
Helping rescued llamas
Spay Day
Foal Team
Colic Team
and so much more!

Another thing I would encourage is that you keep yourself organized. Sometimes I literally have to block out time on my ical to work out or to go out with friends. You can easily get sucked into your studies, but make sure you do take SOME time to visit family/friends and just to let yourself relax. This will keep your friends around and help your sanity.

Before vet school starts, take some time to relax! Vet school is challenging and doesn't leave you a lot of spare time, so take the time to really relax while you can!

And by the way, we do have FUN in vet school! We have parties every other Friday or so, called (TG's) where we get a BBQ going, costco food, soda, and beer! Yes, we are one of the only parts of campus that have permission to have two kegs on campus! TG's are a great break from our classes and an easy way to mingle with friends/students/professors. Dogs are running around, it's great! We have additional parties too, like our halloween party, the turkey roast, the smoker, just tons of fun! Also, some of our professors go out of their way to impress us with a haunted anatomy lab, a barber shop quartet, and even funny music videos. Our professors try to have fun with us! It's not all bad, I am really enjoying it! You just can't take yourself too seriously or be too hard on yourself.

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