Round 3

I keep having little moments of incredulity. “Bloody hell… I’m a third year?”

Hello one and all, it’s nice to be back on the blog. I’ve hit an enormous milestone: third year marks the beginning of the clinical courses, the point where you leave behind what’s normal and what’s healthy and dive into the vast world of disease and drugs. In my pre-clinical years, I had always imagined that once I became a clinical student somehow this inner professional would have started to blossom – i.e. I would have had my crap together. In reality?

In reality, I still feel like I’m accelerating headlong into a profession with absolutely no clue how to drive this thing. I don’t feel like I know enough, or that I have solid learning strategies in place. I feel like I’ve managed to improvise my way this far, and that improvising isn’t going to cut it in the warzone of third year at the Dick Vet. In summary, the general Type A personality mini-crisis that every single one of my colleagues will be experiencing too. Continue Reading!

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C’s Get Degrees

6th – 17th March

What’s the secret to passing veterinary exams? Hey, if I knew the answer to that question I’d be drinking more Jäger in the city and less Scotch on the sofa. You can’t pass vetmed and have a raging social life.

But every single semester culminates in an exam season, it’s the endpoint, the big finale. From the moment my bum hits the seat in the first lecture, my goal is set: pass the bleeding exams. And since it occupies my mind every second of every day, I wonder why I’ve never given you any insight. So here it is, here is how I muddle through. Continue reading!

I Came, I Saw, I Rectalled

21st Feb – 3rd March

“Wait, so… milk is just cow boob sweat?” the words came out before I’d given them permission, much to the amusement of my friends. This was the only piece of information I had retained from two consecutive hours of lectures on mammary glands. Although, in my defense, this is essentially true – the mammary gland is a modified apocrine sweat gland. Ergo milk is modified apocrine sweat. Gross, I know.

I had two hours to consolidate and memorise these lectures before I jumped on a minibus and took a trip to the school’s dairy farm for my afternoon practical, entitled on my timetable as: Rectal Examination of Cattle

My favourite. Continue reading!

Where There’s A Willy, There’s a Way

14th – 24th February

It’s me, finally climbing out of the revision cave and into the light! There’s a lot to catch up on, and it’s truly exciting stuff – so let me start where I last left off, Valentine’s Day…

We’ve all got romantic ideas about where we’d like to be on Valentine’s Day. Considering I don’t have any kind of romantic partner, my expectations weren’t that high to begin with, but as I stood in the dissection room surrounded by penises, this was not it.

Reproduction lectures were in full swing and I couldn’t keep up with it. Reproduction is the bane of every vet student’s life, but those bits and pieces make up the majority of a vet’s workload. Courtship, love-making, and fluffy baby animals, what’s not to love? Well, apart from the fact that sex in the animal kingdom is for the most part violent, messy, dangerous, and complex, every single species has their own way to tango. Don’t feel sorry for your gynaecologist, at least their patients only have one vagina. Continue reading!

Nose To Tail

Patient cooperation? That’d be the bloody day.

Rewind to the 1st of February, and you’ll find me hanging off the head of a cow, trying to pry her eyelids apart as she throws herself back and forth.

“Will you stand still!? I’m not going to hurt you!” Okay, this probably will hurt a bit, but it’s going to hurt more if you fight with me.

There was a brief respite from the thrashing as she stopped to catch her breath. I took my opportunity to separate the eyelids and push her eyeball backwards a fraction into the socket, so that the nictitating membrane jumped out across the surface. I had less than a second to make my assessment of her eye before she began throwing her head again. I let go and stepped away, “This girl needs a break.” Continue reading!

It’s Not Brain Surgery

Southside without students is like Camden Town without bohemians – quiet, and empty. For the first two weeks of my semester, the city around campus was pretty much derelict, save for the occasional vet student. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m a raging socialite, but their absence meant the people-watching from my kitchen was pants for the entire fortnight.

Where was everybody?

At home. Still on Christmas break. By the time they all began trickling in for the start of their semester, the vet meds had sat an exam, finished the entire renal module, and begun the endocrinology module. Vet school waits for nobody.

I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote was just before my December exams. Apologies for the radio silence, I’m sure you’ll forgive me once I’ve regaled you with everything that has occurred since! Continue reading!

Animals Inside Out

This trip was such an outstanding experience that it deserves a post of its own: for a limited time, one of Gunther von Hagens’ Animals Inside Out exhibitions is on display at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle.

I’d known months in advance that it was coming, and knew that I could not miss out. Rowena and I had booked train tickets for an early train down the East coast line, and arranged to meet an old friend of mine, and her flatmate, in Newcastle.

After a long week of lectures, dragging myself out of bed early on Saturday was a monumental effort. But adventure awaits! Continue Reading!