It’s important to keep an open mind, in the way that you view the world and in the varying ideals that come along with it. I’ve always tried living that way, that’s how I was raised. Since coming to the Manly Road Veterinary Hospital, I’ve learned an important lesson: to be flexible in your expectations for yourself. It’s a hard concept for us vet students to understand. We are a different breed of people. We are the type A’s. We set high expectations for ourselves, and we expect ourselves to succeed (or at the very least achieve the necessary steps to bring us closer to achieving that goal in the future).
Because of how the veterinary medicine program is organized at OVC and at most veterinary schools, we are bombarded with a mass amount of information over the last three years, more information than I could ever hope to remember in third year alone. Third year was the final year of book learning, and the last year before the start of our clinical year. And despite all the struggle and hardships, we all made it into our final/clinical year.
I came into my externship feeling unconfident, unsure, and inadequate and I’ve come to understand that that’s a normal feeling. As the saying goes: the more you learn about the world, the more you realize the vastness of what you don’t know and the more you become aware of the impossibility to know it all. But that’s okay because we all feel the same way. Despite my uneasiness at the start of my externship, being swept away by the whirlwind of the first week helped to appease those fears. Through experiencing the sheer volume and variety of complicated/routine cases, I was surprised at how much I actually did know. Of course I have tonnes to learn still, but I was impressed with myself at how much I actually retained. I have always learned better and more efficiently experiencing a case first hand, rather than learning about it in lecture slides. And that’s what’s so wonderful about MRVH and the externship course. I’m exposed to such a vast variety of cases that I am able to consolidate much of what I see into long-term memory. I feel like I’m becoming so much more competent medically by coming to MRVH: from choosing appropriate diagnostics to developing differentials and to choosing the most optimal treatments based on the information provided.
I’m glad I made the decision to travel across the world for my externship. I’ve grown so much as a student veterinarian.
But as the saying goes, “the best vets make well rounded people,” so make sure to enjoy yourself throughout whatever career path you choose!
From scuba diving in Cairns at the Great Barrier Reef
To becoming best friends with a kangaroo in Curumbin
To learning how to surf at Surfer’s Paradise in Gold Coast
And to getting in touch with my inner child (with cotton candy 4 to 5 times the size of my head!)