29 September 2013

Prep time.

I've finally signed up for a day to take the NAVLE. So now my revision with VetPrep is becoming a little more frantic.

My problem with revision is that I don't really know how to organize myself in it. I've got one notebook for the random stuff that I'm not quite familiar with/need to go over in more detail. I pulled out my 3rd and 4th year revision notebooks the other day (which scares me a little) so I can go over those as well.

Also, VetPrep makes me nervous because you're given a percentage of time left before the subscription expires, how far along you are in the revision AND how far along others are in their revision. I've never been very good at comparing myself to others when I study. Everyone studies differently, so usually I try to avoid measuring myself up to others.

Anyway. I've now finished ECC and Large Animal Diagnostic Imaging. Both were really great rotations, and I'm glad that I'll be tracking in diagnostic imaging in December.

Also, the new roommates are finally mostly settled in, which is one less stress for me.

And I need to write my letter of intent. Yikes. Still having a hard time writing good things about myself. It just sounds so fake when I try.


One more week until I'm in KY for a week and a half. Busy busy!

18 September 2013

Have I got a bone to pick.

So I came across this beauty of an article while browsing my twitter feed this fine evening/morning (yay for crazy sleep schedules on ECC). And I have a MASSIVE bone to pick with this one.

It states, and I quote: "With a median pay range in the top 20% of the 2013 Jobs Rated report, veterinarians can be well compensated for rewarding work. People love their pets, and as a result the demand for veterinarians is expected to increase 36% over the next seven years per Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. Combine that with low stress, and veterinarian is a promising career option."

Now, I'm not going to argue with the fact that the job is rewarding. Getting to hang out with animals as a job, helping them and sometimes saving their lives is an amazing feeling. I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Here's the list of problems I have with this article: 

1. Being a vet is the opposite of low stress. 
Dealing with irritable cats, horses that are trying to kick you, and trying to explain to clients that yearly check-ups are necessary to renew a prescription is NOT low stress. Which brings me to my second problem with this article.

2. People may love their pets, but they love their money more.
I'm not saying that some people won't do everything in their power (and wallet) to save the family pet. But when it's perceived that we've not done our job (when we have) or that we're trying to squeeze money (when in reality we just want to make sure our diagnosis is correct or that medication is effective), we're accused of being in it for only the money. I've seen it while out on practice, and I've had vets tell me about it time and again. There's a lovely blog out there called Vets Behaving Badly that posted a very well-written explanation about this (aptly entitled "You only do _Blank_ for the money!").

3. An expected job growth of 36% is bullshit. 
Yeah, I said it. Bullshit. We're all grown ups here. With veterinary class sizes increasing and loads of new vets flooding the market, logic (and my sophomore economics course) tells me that the laws of supply and demand mean more vets equals more competition which means lower salaries and fewer jobs. Again, I don't think I can find a way to express this bullshit any better than the lovely vets over at Vets Behaving Badly. 

4. The pay may be good, but the debt is overwhelming.
I think I remember reading a NYTimes article to this effect in the past year. Something about the average veterinary graduate getting out of school with an average of over $180,000 in debt? (Oh yeah, I think I mean this one.)

I mean, that's not even close to what I've taken out in order to achieve my dream. And it's not just veterinary students suffering from massive amounts of debt. My generation is coming to terms with the fact that we will most likely never be as prosperous as the previous generation (click here to read the wonderfully articulated frustration we all feel by blogger Adam Weinstein). 

I'm trying to decide whether to specialize in something that I've wanted to do for YEARS, and the ONLY THING keeping me back is the fact that most internships and residencies pay what should be below poverty line (especially considering that my loan payment each month will probably be twice my parent's mortgage). And I don't get a break from paying back loans while an intern or resident just because I'm only making enough to live in my parent's house/a crappy studio apartment and eat practically nothing. I'd like to someday be able to afford to get married. Maybe even have a few kids. Buy a house. This all feels impossible when I think about how much I'll end up paying back by the end of things. 

So pardon me if I've ranted and raved a little bit, but when is the constant sugar coating of this whole situation going to stop? 

15 September 2013


This past week I was on rotation in Dermatology, aka self-proclaimed (by the head of Dermatology) as 'dermaholiday.'

Seriously, though. That's what they call it. Because you don't have to be in until 10am and you leave around 3pm. And it's very laid back. And they're all really nice.


After my manic weekend at Bell Equine (we had 3 colics in a day) and a lot of not sleeping, having a week of dermaholiday was exactly what I needed. And I actually really enjoyed it as well.

Next up: Emergency and Critical Care. Mostly doing 4p-4a shifts, which will screw with the good ol' sleep schedule, but it should be interesting nonetheless.

06 September 2013

Taking exhaustion to a whole new level.

Rotation at Bell Equine has been amazing and exhausting. The people here are awesome and I'm SO glad that RVC has the option to come here for 2 weeks.

I've seen a couple of colic surgeries and scrubbed into 2 orthopedic surgeries. It's been AWESOME.

Being here helps in making some big decisions. There is something about equine surgery that I can't walk away from, even though I'll probably end up penniless and sleep deprived for the rest of my life. While I love farm work, I have a feeling I might get bored after a while.

A girl I'm on rotation with here at Bell said that she could see me doing surgery, working at a referral practice; in her honest opinion (and I love when people can give me an honest opinion), I'd get bored doing anything less.

And when I sit and think about it, she's 100% right. And I'm grateful to her for it.

I probably won't go straight from an internship to a residency. I might take a few years to work in the field to get some extra experience under my belt, but eventually I'll get there.