Student Blog

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Electives, Mini-Rotations, Clubs, & Conferences

February 2018

The semester is now in full swing with two exams down and plenty to go before clinical rotations begin in May!

There are a lot of species-specific electives offered this semester, including poultry diseases, small ruminant production medicine, entrepreneurship, equine lameness, and equine surgery. I am enrolled in the poultry and small ruminant courses, given that these species are minimally covered in the core curriculum.

Rotations, Boards, and Job Prospects

February 2018

Hello everyone,

It’s astonishing how quickly time seems to pass during my fourth year. Another month has flown by, and I’m just 80 or so days from graduation.

Since my trip to North Carolina, I have continued to spend most of my time working with hogs – which I’m pretty ok with. My last two rotations were with the ISU Swine Medicine Education Center (SMEC). The first was a swine pharmacology rotation, and the second was a more general production medicine rotation.

Welcome, Megan!

January 2018
Megan Nickel
My name is Megan Nickel and I am a third-year veterinary student from Theresa, Wisconsin. I grew up on a dairy farm and completed my bachelor’s degree in animal science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) in 2015. During my time at UWRF, I worked in their animal welfare laboratory, at a local mixed animal practice, and at an emergency and referral center near the Twin Cities. Between my undergraduate degree and entry into veterinary school, I completed an animal welfare internship with Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods.

Round 2, Semester 2

January 2018

Hello everyone!

I am back in Ames for round two of second semester. Winter break seemed to have gone so very fast, but it was very nice to spend time with my family and friends and take advantage of the food galore during the holidays. Now that I am back in Ames, things have been rolling and picking up speed.

On the road ... Iowa to North Carolina

January 2018

Since our last visit, I have wrapped up a few more rotations and done a bit of traveling. I spent two weeks on the Clinical Pathology and Necropsy rotation. We spent the first half of each day evaluating blood smears, serum chemistries and complete blood counts. This is not my strong suit, but I was able to vastly improve my ability to perform and interpret these diagnostic tests. In the afternoon, we performed necropsies on deceased animals in the hopes of identifying the cause of their clinical signs. Altogether, it was a good two weeks, and I certainly didn’t mind being inside when the temperatures started dropping below zero degrees.

Winter Break!

December 2017

It is that time of the year again, where I can rejoice and say “Yes! I did it! I crossed the finish line!” With the first semester of second year under my belt, I feel a sense of relief knowing that I gave it my best this semester and there are no more final exams to look forward to (or not look forward to).

Time flies!

December 2017

I am writing from sunny Southern California! Now that the semester is over it’s nice to be back with family and friends to recuperate and get ready for the New Years! I’m so happy to be back with family especially since this will be my last “big” break before clinics that I get to spend at home! I can’t believe one semester stands between me and my last year at ISU!

Introducing Jackie Lee, VM3

November 2017

Hello everyone!

My name is Jackie Lee and I am so excited to share my experience at ISU CVM with you all.

I am originally from Southern California. Moving to Iowa has become my first “out of state” schooling experience. I'm a third-year veterinary student and my focus and area of experience is with small animals. However, I plan to track mixed animal during my fourth year.

Two Weeks to Graduation!

April 2017

Hello again! Things have been very busy recently, and with every passing sunny and 70 degree day, it seems that regardless of whether my to-do list is completed or not, May 6thwill be here before I know it. On the academic side of things, the Equine Medicine rotation is what has been occupying my time. As we were right in the middle of foaling season, sick foals, sick foals, and more sick foals were the center of my universe for 14 days ( and maybe a colic case or twelve, but who was counting?).

First Year of Vet Med Almost Done!

April 2017

It is that time of the year I have been waiting for … “dead week”. And no, it isn’t the week where all zombies are let loose across campus (although that would be fairly interesting). “Dead week” is the week before the week of finals. Essentially, club activities and meetings subside during dead week, giving us students more time to focus and expend every last bit of energy we can muster to get us through our official last week of lectures and labs.

Time to Recharge and Register for Second Year

March 2017

I just had a week off for spring break and I decided to stay in Ames and recharge by catching up on sleep, hitting the gym and watching some of my favorite Netflix shows. I also took this opportunity to catch up on a new book I started reading called “Dark Matter.” It was so important for me to recharge and give my brain a mental break so that I can be ready to tackle the remaining six weeks of the semester. As a first-year veterinary student, you learn to take mental breaks and do something fun for yourself without feeling guilty about not studying every waking hour of everyday.

North Dakota Preceptorship

March 2017

Hello again! Well folks, the last of the fourth-year preceptorship opportunities has come and gone for me; and it seems that I saved the best for last!

I just returned from central North Dakota in the heart of cattle country during the upswing of calving season. I was fortunate enough to make the trip with a classmate to help split expenses, and we had two busy weeks of alternating our on-call schedule so each of us would get enough sleep to keep pace with a very busy mixed animal practice!

Preparing for Internships

March 2017

Now back from break, the prospect of clinics is becoming more exciting as we only have ~40 days left in the classroom. I took this final spring break (yes, the actual last academic vacation) to relax and spend time in Los Angeles with friends. However, spring break was not just about relaxation. Los Angeles is my primary area of interest for living post-graduation, whether that be in an internship (hopefully) or working as a general practitioner. With that being said, it is important to find practices of interest for prospective internships during the third year of veterinary schoo

Tests, and More Tests, and Cats!

February 2017

It is unbelievable how quickly the month of February has gone by. This is mainly due to the fact that exams have started taking place, and time flies when you’re too busy studying and catching up in class. In the case for VM1s, we’ve had at least one exam every week since the start of February. These exams are rolling and keeping us on our toes!

Staying Motivated

February 2017

What an interesting Spring semester it has been thus far. I have to admit that my motivation has not been up to par with previous semesters, but it has been a little difficult to focus with 60-70 degree weather and clinics in ~70 days!  Regardless, the most interesting classes this semester are Ophthalmology and Radiology (even though Radiology lives up to its reputation of making life a struggle bus, and I am clearly biased when it comes to Ophthalmology).

Getting Close to Graduation

February 2017

Hello again! The exciting and stressful times continue for the fourth year students! At this point, many of my classmates (myself included) have accepted jobs and most have passed the national board examination ... two major hurdles to complete to successfully transition into becoming a practicing veterinarian. That’s the exciting part. What also comes with nearly completing another chapter in your life means that there are many challenges that are beginning to crop up.

Time Management in Vet School

January 2017

Here begins my final traditional “classroom” semester of veterinary school, and with a new year comes new resolutions, so I want to write on time management in vet school. However, I’m going to briefly mention some dry material first so you can get the idea of day-to-day life– just stick with me. My core courses this semester include: cytology, toxicology, large animal medicine, infectious disease and preventative medicine, veterinary law, ophthalmology (my love), and one of the more feared courses – radiology.

Fourth-Year Challenges

January 2017
Dan Breuer examining x-rays

Hello again! Finally, the calendar has transitioned to a year that myself, along with my class mates have waited to lay our eyes on for a very long time. In 2017 we will graduate and see ourselves move onto starting the first segment of our young careers as veterinarians. This particular time for a fourth year is generally filled with a lot of excitement, mixed with a heavy dose of nervousness and suspense. Though we are preparing to walk across the stage in five short months, along with that act comes the challenge of finding and accepting a job, or searching for that perfect internship, in addition to moving you and your belongings to a different part of the county, state, or country.

Clubs and Volunteer Opportunities

January 2017

As a current first-year veterinary student at ISU, I am completely fascinated by the plethora of clubs and organizations the college has to offer. During my first semester, I joined various clubs, including the Ophthalmology Club, Pathology Club, Veterinary Business Management Association, student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Emergency/ICU Club and the Radiology Club. I am currently one of the VM1 representatives for the Ophthalmology Club. Each club is unique and they provide so much hands-on experience and guest-speaker lunch meetings.

Clinical Skills and Junior Surgery

December 2016
Parker Wilcox examining dogs eye

Fall semester of my third year was one of the most fulfilling, as well as busy, semesters that I have had so far at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Following the infamously challenging second year and my summer as a veterinary scholar doing Ophthalmology research here at Iowa State, this past semester integrated all the components of my education that I’ve acquired, thus far.  However, the pre-eminent experience this semester was embarking on the journey we fondly call junior surgery.  Though many may think we just perform surgery, our program offers so much more.

Lessons from My First Semester

December 2016
Jacky Peraza

My name is Jacky Peraza. I am a first-year veterinary student at Iowa State University. I have just completed my first semester. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. My family lives minutes away from downtown Los Angeles. I am the first member of my immediate family to attend college and graduate school. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Merced, in molecular and cellular biology and a minor in psychology in 2013. After graduating from UC-Merced, I worked at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Center in West Los Angeles as a radiology technician, where I was exposed to various specialties within the veterinary profession, including oncology, radiology, cardiology, internal medicine, surgery and emergency/ICU departments.

Field Services Rotation and Boards

November 2016
Dan Breuer
Photo: Mary Breuer

Hey there again! Fourth year has been a whirlwind since my last entry. To start off, I have just completed the Field Services rotation. As a large animal-focused student, this rotation was a lot of fun, and it will be very similar to what I will be doing after I graduate. The Field Services rotation is an ambulatory service for food animals, and we spent the two weeks doing treatments on animals around central Iowa, as well as doing all of the treatments as needed at the Iowa State Dairy farm. This rotation was a nice change of pace, especially after completing many small animal rotations during the mid-summer and early fall.

Introducing Dan Breuer

September 2016
Dan Breuer

Hey everyone! I’m Dan Breuer, a fourth-year student from Glen Haven, Wisconsin. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 2013. I am half-way through my fourth-year at the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. My focus is primarily dairy production medicine, with a general focus on mixed animal medicine. That’s a little about me and my background, so now I’ll give you a little sneak peek into what is going on. Every student has a different experience, especially during the clinical fourth year, so please realize that I may have a much different perspective at this point in my education than many of my other peers do.