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.

Generally, I have liked pharmacology classes while in veterinary school and having a two-week course that focused specifically on swine pharmacology was really beneficial. There are ever-increasing regulations regarding the use of antibiotics and other treatments in hogs, and it is important that I understand these regulations. It is also important that I understand how these treatments work so that I can put treatment protocols together that are more likely to be successful. The second SMEC rotation was a broader approach to swine medicine. We had a diverse array of experiences in the rotation which made it a lot of fun. Both rotations required a fair bit of work outside the classroom, but I guess that is alright every once in a while.

Beyond rotations, there has been quite a bit happening. Shortly after my last post, vet students all over the country received their national boards exam results. We were on our way to a hog farm when I got the email, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to open my results. That certainly added a little stress to the experience. Ultimately, I was able to check my exam score and found out I passed the exam, which was a big relief. The national exam was pretty brutal and I had no desire to take it again.

More recently, the results of the “Match” have come out. The “Match” is the system that many veterinary students interested in pursuing one year veterinary internships use to match with the schools and clinics offering the internships. Oftentimes, these internships are small animal or exotic animal focused. Many students enroll in internships with the idea that they will then enter a residency program and become board certified in a specific area of veterinary medicine, such as surgery, critical care, or internal medicine. The idea of spending a year doing nothing but small animals does not appeal to me, but I am very happy for my classmates who matched this year.

Besides internships, there is an increasing proportion of my classmates who have accepted jobs. In November I accepted a job with Pipestone Veterinary Services, and am excited to join the team. I could talk a lot about this opportunity, but I will save that for later. It has been interesting to see the progression of students getting job offers, considering the options, and making life changing decisions. There appears to be a lot of opportunities for general practice veterinarians all over the country, especially if you are flexible on where you want to go and what you want to do. It may be a bit difficult finding a job if you have a very specific location you need to work at, but even under these circumstances, many of my friends are accepting jobs with clinics they are excited to join.

A lot of things are changing for my classmates and me, and it’s a pretty exciting ride.

Until next time,

Brent Sexton