I remember when veterinarians told me that four years of veterinary school would fly by before I even noticed, I didn’t believe them - not when I was in the same classroom all day every day, and most definitely not during the exam marathons. Yet here I am, getting ready for my eight-week externship. I am never a light packer. And usually the more I think about what I need, the more I throw into my bags. Better to be prepared than sorry, right? So, a couple pairs of scrubs, coveralls, steel-toed boots, change of clothes, snacks, insect repellent, notebooks, etc. etc., in they go, and everything is packed into the car. After getting my coffee and punching info into the GPS, I started making my way to Timmins.
I have no doubt that it will be an amazing experience, but the anxiety of what might happen is real. Even as I just started heading out of town, questions like, “what if my GPS fails half-way?”, “what if a bear comes out in the middle of nowhere?”, “what if my car starts to fall apart on a bumpy road?” …. all the “what ifs” would come in my head and make my palms on the wheel sweat. Mind you, some of these doubts are not very realistic, and deep down I know I’m being just slightly melodramatic, however, the more attention you give your fear monster, the more real it becomes.
Getting out of one’s comfort zone is never easy, but sometimes, it is exactly what we need to thrive. There will be times where we may feel defeated by a challenging case, or losing a patient. And it is normal to feel what we feel, but we need to remind ourselves of how far we have come. Fortunately, my dear colleagues, friends and family are always there to guide me through whenever I feel lost on the path. Most importantly, they remind me to breath at critical times and prevent me from turning into a smurf.
Despite of all the worrying thoughts passing through my mind, the scenery along the way brought me back to the present moment and calmed my busy brain. There were Inuit rocks and great lake views that really caught my attention. Though I haven’t done a lot of road trips, these are quite beautiful scenes.
After an almost eight-hour drive from Guelph (with a stop at Sudbury), I finally made it to Timmins Animal Hospital. Dr. B and his wife kindly welcomed me into their home and made me feel at ease in this unfamiliar city. All the staff members are also very nice and I will be sure to introduce them to you very soon!
Our externship is an amazing opportunity to not only solidify the knowledge and skills we’ve learned in the past three years, but also to explore our passion in veterinary medicine. Many people have asked me “Why Timmins?”, and I have asked myself the same question many times as well. With its unique geography, I’m sure it will expose me to a different taste of veterinary medicine. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to explore northeastern Ontario and make the most out of the experience.
In the coming eight weeks, I hope I will be able to capture and share with you the moments during my time at the Timmins Animal Hospital. Stay tuned!