Sharing my passion for veterinary medicine

Externship Project

Hello to everyone tuning into the 2019 edition of the Externship Blog Project!

My name is Salomon Schroeter and I am beyond excited to share my externship journey with all of you. Since starting at OVC, I’ve been following the blog and found that reading the stories of upper year students was a great way to stay inspired and excited for what was to come; especially after a few years of long days in lectures, late study nights, and dreaded Monday tests. Finally, I am lucky enough to be able to share my experiences as a fourth-year extern student and it feels very surreal.

Before we get to my placement, let me give you a better idea of who I am. My love of animals and veterinary medicine started at young age, much like many of my classmates. After being accepted into OVC, students are asked to fill out surveys to give the college a better understanding of the class demographics. The questions ranged from where we grew up, to our current areas of interest in veterinary medicine, to the question I remember the most clearly - at what age did you decide you wanted to be a veterinarian. The possible answers ranged from ‘0-4 years old’ all the way up to ‘within the last year’. For me and 13 other classmates, this question was easy – I made up my mind before 4 years old.

How did I know before I was four you might ask?

Well let’s take a look back to a younger, more chubby-cheeked Salomon…

A future student veterinarian in the field with cows

Growing up in Ottawa, I was lucky to be an in area where you are only a 40-minute drive away from the countryside. From a young age, my parents surrounded me with animals. From trips to Alexandria, ON to see my grandparents’ farms (one a hobby farm with horses, the other a small dairy) to the small zoo of pets I was allowed throughout my childhood, animals were always a large part of my life. From a young age I found animals, especially the larger ones like horses and dairy cows, so captivating. Fast forward years later to middle-school when I started volunteering at primary care clinics much like many other people that dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Those years spent in the clinic setting helped foster my passion for the medicine aspect of the profession. I always knew I wanted to work with animals, but it wasn’t until I saw the impact animals had on people’s lives and the bonds we could build with them by providing care, that I knew I was on the right path.

Fast-forward to the present. I’m two weeks into my externship and ready to start sharing my experiences with all of you through this blog. When I first found out about the Externship Blog Project I thought it was a great blend of two of my passions – story-telling and teaching people about all veterinary medicine has to offer.  I’m hoping that in writing about my experiences, I can shed some light on my experience as a student veterinarian and show you what it means to be a veterinarian in the field, particularly within the agriculture industry, by means of my weeks at Martintown Animal Hospital.

I chose Martintown Animal Hospital because I wanted to go back to Eastern Ontario, to the same townships where my grandparent’s farms are located and my love of veterinary medicine began. The clinic prides itself on being a true mixed practice where the majority of the veterinarians do dairy farm calls in the morning and small animal appointments at the clinic in the afternoons. Given my interest in pursuing a mixed animal practice in the future, this clinic fit well with providing that balance of both a large and small animal case load. At Martintown, the large animal side of the practice is primarily focused on dairy herd health, which I felt aligned very closely with my interests in dairy cow medicine and reproductive health. The practice is also one of the only emergency referral hospitals between Ottawa and Montreal, meaning they see a wide variety of cases, and work hard to offer their patients a high standard of care at all times of day. So, buckle in because I’m going to have a lot of unique cases & lessons learned to report back to you.

Follow along as I take you on a ride through the dairy farm landscape of Eastern Ontario. I have no doubt you’ll be udderly entertained!