The vanishing year… And the state exams…

Vet student on the farm

It is Easter, for me that mean I have a couple of extra days in surgery as there are no classes on the schedule. However it is Easter so that means no scheduled surgeries so I am hoping for some emergencies – bad for the animal and owners – however providing much needed experience and practice for me.

In fact every single patient I see teaches me something new, this in turn will hopefully make me a better vet when I graduate in 15 months’ time. That is something that now it is so close I am very aware off. Seeing patients allows me to identify the gaps in my knowledge, plus for me seeing something outside of a textbook lets me understand something a whole lot easier.

Something else I am aware of is that I will soon be starting my state exams – these are oral exams in front of a panel and open to the public. There are six total, I have two this semester, and then four starting next January. These exams are the ones that count – and will qualify me to become a veterinary surgeon.

These exams are generally done on a species by species basis, with topics including exotics, ruminants, pigs, swine, small animals and horses. There is also a relatively random one with contagious diseases, legislation and protection of the environment.

My first state exam will be on the 13th June with the focus on birds, exotics, and wildlife.

The second state exam for me will be on 6th July with the focus on contagious diseases, protection of the environment and veterinary legislation.

I am a little nervous for these two exams, there is so much to know and it is just over 2 months until my first one. The first one is clinical medicine – so I am not too stressed about this exam, my clinical knowledge is pretty good and a lot of it is logical.

The second one however is stressing me more as it is basically a test of memory – and I absolutely hate (and henceforth suck at) memorising lists. Albert Einstein famously said “Never memorize something that you can look up.” –being honest I kind of agree. The stuff that is common in clinical practice is remembered over time from repetition – however this test is all about what I can remember.

Now however I am starting my preparation for these exams with a topic a day. With my lapse in keeping my diary updated (it takes so much longer than you’d think to write a diary post!) I’ve decided I will use this to reinforce my study for that day by writing a summary of that topic for you all.

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