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!

From the very first day I knew that it was going to be a special experience. I was able to actively participate in procedures on five different species. When we weren’t busy performing routine surgery and seeing appointments on the small animal side, we were constantly donning coveralls to head to the large animal chute in the back half of the clinic. Clients were very accustomed to hauling their cattle in with a truck and trailer, so we were able to see a high volume of large animal cases every day. These cases ranged anywhere from hoof trims, to laceration/wound management, to caesarean sections and all manner of cattle dystocias.

This clinic was especially student-oriented, and allowed for a lot of hands-on experience, as well as guidance and teaching. One of the main objectives of attending preceptors is to gain confidence in common clinical skills. During this preceptor, I got just that, with many opportunities to apply a great deal of principles and techniques that I learned in years 1-3 of veterinary school. I can’t say enough about how valuable preceptors are, especially when they are as fun and educational as this one was for me.

Looking forward, graduation is now only six short weeks away! With only three rotations left, plans for life after veterinary school are sharply becoming clearer.  Although I’m beginning to feel anxious to shoulder the responsibility of being an everyday decision-making Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, I can’t help but look forward to the opportunity to finally be doing what I set out to do four short years ago.

Until next time,

Dan Breuer