Last January when I started clinics, I was terrified. I was terrified of not knowing what I was doing, making a mistake, and being extremely exhausted. When you talked to older classes, they told us that you would be there for hours longer than you imagined, that clinicians would yell at you, and that you spend hours writing discharges. I had this terrible picture painted in my head. I was totally regretting my decision.
My first rotation was internal medicine, a service that is known for exhausting its students. It was a big one to check off the list of requirements. My first day I had no idea what I was doing or where anything was in the hospital. Luckily, I started when the class above me was still there because they were fantastic at showing us the ropes. I managed to stay afloat my first week, but I was exhausted at the end. I had no idea how I was going to do this for a year and a half more.
Now, as I have continued on my rotations, I have become so much more confident in the hospital. I felt so much more comfortable seeing clients and performing procedures and discussing treatments and outcomes. My graduation date no longer scares me because I know I can be a veterinarian when I graduate. I came to some realizations that made things easier for me. You cannot learn and commit to memory everything you need to know in four years. Some things are rare and you will have to look them up. Clinicians will also continue to ask you questions until you get it wrong because they want to push you.
It’s amazing to look back and remember struggling through each day at where I was one year ago. I have learned so much and I have cherished this experience and the amazing clinicians that go above and beyond to help us students learn. Don’t get me wrong, I have had many nights with just a handful of hours of sleep and some days where I was awake for more than 24 hours, but these created some amazing moments that I will never forget.
My brother starts his clinical rotations this year, and I am excited to have him in the hospital. I can’t wait to see him in his element and making a difference. I know he is excited to get out of the classroom too!