Part 1: Vet Student Forum

Students value practical experience in medical procedures, and also recognize the need for communications skills.
Students value practical experience in medical procedures, and also recognize the need for communications skills.
(John Maday)

Today’s veterinary students will guide the future of bovine practice, bringing a fresh outlook and unique skills to the ever-evolving profession. With that in mind, we’ve launched a new “Student Forum” feature, highlighting the insights, opinions, aspirations and concerns of today’s veterinary students.

The question for the January issue was: "What is the most practical, profound or memorable thing you’ve learned in school over the past month?”

Following are responses from eight of the students on our panel. Part 2 will list the answers from eight more students.

Ruffin Hutchison, University of Tennessee

Veterinary medicine is a constantly evolving field, and you're never too wise, or too experienced to listen to new ideas. Keep your mind, your eyes, and your ears open, and you may learn something.

Josina Kasper, University of Illinois

Something I have learned over the past month that is most practical/profound: Take control of every situation and be confident in what you do because you know more than you think you do.

Amy Kraus, University of Pennsylvania

My most profound moment occurred during a neurology lecture on listeriosis. After years of memorizing "circling disease" facts for dairy bowl competitions, I finally learned the pathogenesis and came to the revelation that the clinical signs can be localized to the brainstem!

Jennifer Lantzer, North Caroline State University

Each day is a learning experience in vet school! I'd say recently, the most profound thing I've learned is that I need to aspire to be a "constant learner". Going forward through vet school and into practice, whether treating an Angus bull or a tabby cat, I need to be willing to re-evaluate how I perceive each situation to provide the best, most practical care for my patients.

Tara Lynch, Oklahoma State University

Being in my clinical year, I am realizing the importance of forming relationships with our clients. They are more than just the individual paying the bill. We need to put forth effort to care for their livestock, their family, and their livelihood.

Carling Matejka, University of Calgary

In the past month, I think the most practical thing I've learned is that the sharper the knife, the easier the necropsy is. I found out the hard way that dull knives are dangerous and you may not cut exactly where you want to!

Laura May, Purdue University

Our Food Animal Club recently held a lab over maximizing the use of PCDART with the help of our Dairy Production Medicine professor, Dr. Jonathan Townsend, and the Executive Secretary of the Indiana State Dairy Association, Elizabeth Farrow. We were able to work through the program on our own with records from our university herd, practicing data input that both a producer and veterinarian could perform and data analysis that both could find useful for management decisions. Common herd health issues to look for in the data were also discussed as well as technology used in addition to or in place of PCDART. We will be exposed again to this 4th year in our Ruminant Production Medicine block, but this was a great start!

Olivia Myers, North Carolina State University

Recently, I was asked to present a case at meeting for students with a food animal focus. We went through the entire case from top to bottom using a real-life approach for case work-up, diagnostic methods and water medication calculations. The case truly became my own and as I dug deeper into the details, I found the case becoming more complex than I originally thought. However, I gained confidence as I realized that I have been equipped with the knowledge base to solve problems critically. I have much more to learn but I am extremely fortunate to be a part of a profession with so many passionate individuals who are willing to share their knowledge and continue their education daily.  Being able to help others learn more about practical veterinary medicine was a profound experience that I hope I can experience many more times in the future as I join the profession.


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