What they really mean when they say vet school is tough… (Day 628)

Becoming a second year vet student photo

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Best Rabbit Food

Vet school has always been called tough, maybe its because so few get in from the thousands that apply each year. Or maybe because its so much to learn. Personally I think it is the emotional rollercoaster that does it.

I study. Sometimes it is a mountain of books, sometimes it is more complex, at the moment I have to memorise the name, location, function and path of every single blood vessel in animals… Not just one species, but all the differences between them. The way that blood vessels differ between an animal with just 1 toe, to an animal with 2 toes, or maybe 4 or 5 toes. Sometimes I can sit for days on end just studying, reading stuff, making notes, eating, sleeping, reading. Sometimes I feel guilty for sleeping or eating, sometimes no matter how much I read there is always more.

I like to think I am a responsible student; I drink very rarely, I like to celebrate passing my exams by seeing practice – it is what gives me energy… Knowing that the hours I have spent reading and studying is taking me one step closer to being able to do something I love. It sounds corny saying you want to help animals, to be honest I enjoy solving the problem, pushing my limits and coming up with a solution to give something defencless a chance.

Sometimes animals die, sometimes you have to euthanise them… Sometimes you may spend hours or days or weeks or even months treating an animal – you spend more time with them than the owner, than the dr’s, than anyone else. You push your limits, you study more, things you do not know, plugging gaps in your knowledge as you go, sometimes pushing a new idea from a research paper just published. And then the animal dies. Each time a patient dies I try to learn something, that patient could not be saved then but maybe if we see it again it will be different.

Vet school is a emotional rollercoaster, sometimes it doesn’t go well but the ones you can save, the patients where you make a difference give you your energy to keep going. You are not dealing with just an animal, its someones friend, a companion, its got a name. Sometimes you get to see the them again, know that they are still there because of you, its an amazing feeling.

For me I have around 700 days of vet school left until I am released onto the world, a new graduate, I get given a license to learn, but more scarily I am responsible. Them 700 days are going be spent learning, so that when they are up I am the best vet I can be…

IMPORTANT: If you are struggling please speak up, Vet Helpline is a free 24h support service for vets, vet nurses, students and any family or colleagues who are concerned about someone in the veterinary community.CLICK HERE TO BE TAKEN TO VET HELPLINE

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