Wrapping Up the Fourth-Year

April 2019

After the 2019 AASV Annual Meeting in FL, I traveled back home to continue some wedding planning, and then headed to southern MN for another preceptorship. I spent two weeks with New Fashion Pork (NFP) in Jackson, MN. I really enjoyed my time with the company and had great mentorship during my stay. I was able to gain confidence collecting blood samples from pigs of various ages and setting up a variety of ventilation controllers. I benefited greatly from walking through water medicator and fan calculations. These calculations were not a focus in my veterinary curriculum and can be easy to forget when not utilized daily.

Next, I returned to WI for a preceptorship with Heritage Swine Genetics. Growing up in WI, I only encountered pigs at the county fair and during my undergraduate degree for behavioral research. This preceptorship was really eye-opening to what low pig density and state regulations can do for swine diseases. I did not encounter PRRSV, PEDV, IAV-S, or Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae during my two-week preceptorship. I did not realize that would even be possible given my training in such a swine dense area where these diseases can be quite prevalent. This scenario allowed veterinarians to focus on daily management of each farm and performing reproductive ultrasounds. Therefore, I was able to greatly improve on my ultrasound skills and focus on sow body condition and comfort. After six weeks on the road and living out of a suit case, I will be headed back to Ames for my last ISU rotation, Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Laboratory.

After going through several preceptorships, I have a couple of tips for future students. First, don’t forget that these experiences add up in the form of gas, mileage, food, housing, flights, etc. Keep expenses in mind when you are planning out your fourth year. I was extremely lucky to have housing for each preceptorship, whether I commuted from Ames each day or the company provided me with free housing. Second, remember that your stay is not a convenience. Be on time, focused, prepared, and help clean-up at the end of each day. Third, reach out to mentors that you may not know and preferably those that are a couple years out from graduation. I learned so much from each preceptorship experience and was fortunate enough to develop several friendships along the way.

Until next time,

Megan