Friday, October 22, 2010

Crap Day

It seems like today has been a day of crap. Class was fairly awful, nothing to whine too much about, but nothing really useful gained and just generally mind numbing. Then it was home and the bad news started rolling in.

One of my favorite surgeons is leaving the practice I used to work for. He is an excellent surgeon and an amazing teacher. I think his leaving will be detrimental to the practice, as he is their only board-certified surgeon, and it makes it much less appealing as a potential internship after I graduate. I've still got time to explore some other options, but it's depressing that my opportunities to work with him might be limited. Surgeons are a different breed, and most of them are so brilliant that they aren't the best teachers for slow learners like me! This man is one of the best I've ever worked with as far as being able to explain things in plain English. The only silver lining in this is that I do think it could be a good career move for him, and I will hopefully still have chances to work with him in the future.

After that, I got word that one of my good friends has been diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma in his mouth. He had an infected tooth and has had ongoing problems with it for months. A biopsy done earlier this week came back today with the news that it was cancer. He and his wife are two of the nicest people I know. They have helped me countless times with anything I've needed. I am praying for them, and I know that that's a powerful thing, but I wish I could do something more concrete. It's hard to watch good people go through something so uncontrollable.

I feel like I should have something witty to say to wrap up some lesson to be learned here, but all that comes to mind are some ridiculous, overworn platitudes that we've all heard so often they've lost all meaning. All I can do is keep praying and look for opportunities to step up and support my friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side

So here's what I've noticed about vet students lately...we're not mentally stable. I'm not the only one of my classmates to have a meltdown in the time surrounding this celebration of knowledge we call "Midterm Madness." The madness doesn't just refer to the insanity of being expected to know everything about 100 genera of parasites, every category of the various nutritional components, and all the ways that the liver can possibly be damaged. I'm not saying that excuses us acting like wild monkeys, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one!

One of my classmates had a stage 3 meltdown this morning because one of her roommates used her toothpaste. She's nearly out and has been carefully rationing it so that she won't have to make a trip to the store until our exams are over. It's the little things...

A couple more of my classmates were discussing NSAID dosages, the conversation went like this:
"They don't list a dosage for goats. Do you think I should just use the cow dosage?"
"Sure. How many goats do you think are in a cow? Just divide by that."

We are the future of veterinary medicine. We throw tantrums. We say ridiculous things. We talk without thinking a lot of the time. We're stressed. We're sleep-deprived. Sometimes basic survival skills are a struggle for us. In spite of this, I think it's all going to be ok. We've got a few more years to figure things out. Even then, we'll still be human, just with "Dr." in front of our name. We have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, we will make mistakes. Occasionally, our mistakes will have tragic consequences. Looking at my classmates, I think that most of us are the right people for the job. We are getting a quality education; not perfect, but in my opinion one of the best in the nation. Most days I can't wait for it to be over, but I know it's a necessary process.