The last chapter

Externship Project

Hi everyone! I’m sitting down to write this post after finishing up my last lecture of Phase Three. What a weird feeling – after six years of sitting in lecture halls, I may never do it again. Classroom learning, basically all I’ve ever known, is now behind me and it’s on to real life (or at least my externship). 

The externship is an eight-week placement in a mixed animal practice (a clinic that sees both livestock and pet species) that is designed to give us our first snapshot of the “real world”. We get to go out and participate in real cases, and start to develop the clinical skills that we will need when we graduate in one short year!  

I’m from the suburbs in Ottawa, Ontario, and moved to Guelph in September 2012 to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology. Throughout undergrad, my classes and summer jobs both focussed on food-producing species. I went into vet school thinking that I probably wanted to be a mixed animal vet, with a focus on dairy cows. But as I went through Phases One and Two, and had the opportunity to learn about small animals (dogs and cats) in an academic way for the first time, I remembered my roots back in the suburbs, and that my passion, from the time I started talking until now, had always been dogs. 

I eventually did decide on the small animal medicine stream, so when I started searching for my externship clinic, I was looking for a hospital that had a strong client base in pets, and good facilities for working with them. Having only ever lived in Ottawa and Guelph, I was also looking for the opportunity to explore a new town. After a lot of research and several clinic tours, I made the drive to Picton, Ontario. I had a great interview with Dr. Grier, and after a tour of Picton Animal Hospital, I was sold! 

I’ve always enjoyed reading posts from the Externship Blog Project, and it has given me a much better understanding of what to expect going into my externship. Instead of being nervous about the unknown, I’m excited about getting started! I wanted to join the project in order to give back to the community, and to help the incoming Phase Threes develop an idea of what qualities they want to look for in an externship experience. 

Growing up, I used to really like doing creative writing projects for school. I applied and was accepted into the creative writing stream of an arts high school, however I ended up turning down the offer, because the 90-minute commute would mean that I would have had to give up being a part of the school music program, one of my other favourite hobbies. The Externship Blog Project is a great outlet for me to take up writing again – and to write about something I love! 

I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with all of you as I develop my clinical skills this spring – and as I explore Prince Edward County!