The Externship Project Blog

Managing uremia in a cat

Posted January 27, 2021

It is hard to not feel like a kid playing dress up in a doctor uniform when walking into the first day of your externship. After years of working with animals, I have the knowledge and experience I need. Now, I am expected to think like a veterinarian, to decide what diagnostic tests to perform and what treatments to recommend for each case.

My first case to work up as part of my externship was an orange and white tabby named Max. (Client consent was provided to include info and photos.) He was brought in after being seen by an emergency veterinary clinic the previous...

Variety is the spice of life

Posted January 26, 2021

Like almost everything else in 2020, OVC student externships look quite a bit different this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying our final year of vet school by over three months, the anticipation for finally beginning my four-week placement at Mildmay Veterinary Clinic had plenty of time to build up. Fortunately, I had spent the two and a half months prior as an employee at this amazing mixed-animal clinic, and so I was able to jump right into things by the time mid-August rolled around.

Mildmay Veterinary Clinic (MVC) is a large (eight-doctor) mixed animal practice located in Mildmay...

Hands-on clinical training invaluable for OVC student veterinarians

Posted January 21, 2021

Experiential learning is a key component in the student veterinarian’s journey.  This is particularly true for fourth-year students at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) as they move from lectures and labs into an intensive year of clinical training prior to graduation.

It is a defining experience as they transition from the classroom to the clinic and put to work the clinical, diagnostic, problem-solving and client communication skills they have been honing over the past three years.

In a typical year, this shift to clinical learning begins with an eight-week externship.

Supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, students complete the...

Taking the externship bull by the horns

Posted November 1, 2019

The veterinary externship is a pivotal moment in the OVC experience. In Phase 1, it’s a distant concept and seems like an imaginary future in the whirl of first year anatomy. By final exams in Phase 3, it really is a light at the end of a long tunnel. This externship marks the moment when vet students truly start to become and act as their own doctors (under supervision), which presents exciting experiences and unique challenges. The eight...

Wise words from the animal kingdom

Posted October 28, 2019

Sadly, we are down to the very last blog of my externship and what an experience it was!!! I loved every single day at the Gray County Veterinary Clinic, I couldn’t have landed at a better clinic. Quite honestly, I ended up at this clinic on a whim – I knew I wanted to complete my externship outside of Ontario but other than that, I was relatively open to where I ended up.

I had talked to a few upper years as to how I should go about finding a clinic but other than that, I was...

Training for the Veterinary Olympics

Posted October 21, 2019

As I’ve said before, I grew to love surgery throughout my externship. Surgery was something that I never thought I’d have such a strong interest in throughout vet school. It always looked so stressful and meticulous with little room for error. My clinic was really generous in giving me many surgeries to tackle, supervised and...

Vet Tank

Posted October 7, 2019

On this week’s blog post, I want to cover a topic that perhaps isn’t talked about as much as it should be: the business aspect of a veterinary clinic. I’m guilty of getting so wrapped up in the medicine component of a clinic that I forget being a veterinarian, in particular a practice owner, involves a great deal of business management. Running a clinic entails practicing good veterinary medicine but also, thinking about revenue, training and managing staff, keeping...

My first solo case, Ivy the Dragon

Posted September 27, 2019

When I saw an appointment for a rarer pet coming up on the schedule, I asked one of our veterinarians if I could join in on the case, as it’s not every day I could work with a bearded dragon. To my surprise, I was told that this was going to be my first solo case of the externship! In that moment, I realized that I couldn’t remember anything about reptile medicine and started to internally panic. Ivy the dragon was scheduled for later that afternoon with...

A day without surgery is a day without sunshine

Posted September 18, 2019

I’m about six weeks into my externship and at this point, I feel like I’m a character in Grey’s Anatomy. From emergencies to complicated surgeries, it seems as if I’ve seen and dealt with just about everything imaginable. With that being said, the highlight of my time here has definitely been the surgeries, whether it’s a neuter or an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair, I’m always pumped to scrub in and get my hands dirty. If I had to do a rough tally, I’ve led about...

The essentials of essential oils

Posted September 12, 2019

I can’t believe how many interesting cases I’m being exposed to every day during my externship and! I’m learning a lot every day, and each case and patient I see allows me to learn more about what condition or symptoms they presented to the clinic with. One case in particular that I wanted to explore and learn more about was a potential essential oil ingestion toxicity in a four-month-old (and also very cute...