Hi everyone! My name is Sarahbeth Barlas, and I grew up in Canton, Michigan, on that perfect border between suburbia and the back country roads. I attended Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University where I completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a concentration in companion and exotic animal management and a specialization in agriculture and natural resources biotechnology.
Sarahbeth Barlas, DVM
This is the first two days in a row I have had off in weeks, and it is amazing! I have gotten so much done this weekend; I think I am remembering how to be a regular functional member of society again! I even saw the sun today!! Periodically, as I food-prepped and cleaned, I found my mind wandering to that dangerous topic: pets.
I spent the last four weeks on the Emergency Service clinical rotation. The first two weeks were nightshift (8PM-8AM) followed by two weeks of dayshift (8AM-8PM). I was terrified for this required rotation -the idea of pulling all-nighters through 12 hour shifts, caring for patients when I had yet to barely grasp even basic medicine (impostor syndrome, much!), and how to know what to do when that critical case would come to the front door… did I mention I was terrified?
Many exciting events have occurred since my previous post: I have taken boards, accepted a job, and was notified that I passed those boards. Graduation is now under 100 days away!
Most patients that come to a specialty hospital like Iowa State University come on referral from their GP (general practitioner, or "primary veterinarian"). One piece I have been able to take away from a number of my rotations is how the GP can really be a major part of the referral (specialty) team.
In undergraduate, you may have had time to finish your studying or projects each night, watch a little TV or read a book (for fun!), and get up each morning to go for a run. Maybe you went dancing every Thursday night, spent weekends at a friend's place, and only ever didn't receive a full 8 hours of sleep by choice.
In veterinary school, you enter this Twilight Zone where I swear there are only like 6 hours in the day -where did the other 18 go!?
Veterinary school demands long hours: long hours of class, long hours of studying. It can be incredibly difficult to wake up for those 8:00 AM classes or 7:00 AM extra-curriculars -especially during Iowa Winters where you will commonly get to school, and leave school, without ever seeing the fleeting sun.
On that dreary note, I would love to share some ways to trick your body into being a morning person.
For my Cardiology Service clinical rotation, we were asked to read five journal articles. Five. FIVE!?
If I had been asked to write this before my senior year, I would have said I was terrified of eyeballs. They were these mystical, fragile blobbies that are essential to both animals for sight and owners for connecting to their pets. The stress borne of the consequences if you 'mess those up' was hugely heavy to me: eyeballs were tiny face booby-traps waiting to explode (literally!), and I did not want to risk getting close to them. So, when I prepared to brave my Ophthalmology Service clinical rotation, I wished with all my wishing power… to not puke.
I am on break from rotation right now to regroup and intensely study for boards (anyone else catch the oxymoron there, ugh!). However, each break I take out a day to food prep. Whenever people hear that I food prep, they panic. This makes me so sad! I eat "fast food" daily for nearly all meals by eating my own home-cooked goodness. Let me share some tips I definitely wish I knew when I was first starting at university.