Hello everyone, my name is Brent Sexton and I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my veterinary school experience with you! As this is my first blog post, I will introduce myself before I dig into my veterinary experiences.
My what a difference a couple weeks can make. My vet school career is now in the rear-view mirror and I am hurdling towards the real world…whether I like it or not.
We’re well into spring, although it certainly doesn’t feel like it. I don’t know about you, but personally, I am sick of the cold and snow. Fortunately, during my travels I missed most of the bad weather and just dealt with the aftermath.
The last month has been a lot of fun. I had four weeks of externships which took me to Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. It was especially nice because these were vacation blocks for me, so I just got to hang out with vets and didn’t have to write any reports or log skills as I did for previous externships.
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 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.
I continue to enjoy my time on rotations, and have completed two more food animal rotations since my last post. We are given a fair bit of flexibility with our schedule fourth year. I took one week of a two week block off, and used the other for a preceptorship. Having an off week was really nice, as it allowed me to spend time with family and friends over Thanksgiving, study for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE), and ride along with two veterinarians.
Over the last month, I have taken Swine Production Management and Consulting, as well as Microbiology/Diagnostic Lab. I am now taking a course in Small Ruminant Medicine. I enjoyed the swine course, as it involved a lot of record analysis and discussion on swine production which I found interesting. The Microbiology and Diagnostic Lab rotation was interesting as well. The mornings were devoted to microbiology, where we isolated and identified bacteria from cases submitted to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL). The afternoons were then spent evaluating tissues and samples submitted to the VDL by veterinarians. This was a great experience, as it involved critically evaluating the submissions and making decisions regarding the best way to identify the pathogen causing disease. I am now on Small Ruminant Medicine, where we are learning about caring for goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and whitetail deer. I would have to say that these have been three of my favorite rotations so far!
Since the last post, I’ve completed Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, as well as Small Animal Anesthesia. Large animal medicine was a lot of fun. It was my first large animal rotation at ISU, and it was a great learning experience working on cattle, goats, and even alpacas. I scrubbed in for a calf surgery, worked on a bull with tetanus, helped diagnose meningeal worms in a goat, and much more.
Hello again everyone,
It’s been several months since I’ve written, and things have changed quite a bit. At that time, I had just graduated and was taking a few weeks off. The three weeks between graduation and work were fun; I’m glad I took time to relax and get things in order before taking the next step. Many of my classmates may have felt the real world came too early, but I was anxious to start my professional career. I am now wholly immersed in the “real world”, and starting to sort everything out.