now I am in Los Banos, CA at a large animal veterinary clinic learning all about the specifics of dairy farm operation and the role of a veterinarian. I have spent a lot of time over the past two weeks learning how to detect pregnancy and reproductive status via rectal palpation. No it is not the most glamorous rotation, but I am learning so much. That is the one thing about veterinary medicine, you get to do so many different things, and I already have had so many experiences that I will remember for years to come.
I figure I should tell you a little about Western University since it is not a “traditional” veterinary school. Perhaps my most difficult challenge in veterinary school so far was adjusting to Western’s curriculum style. The majority of your learning (notice how it is learning and not teaching) is centered on clinical cases. The school calls this
Problem Based Learning. This is not a new concept, for example Cornell’s veterinary school used
based and Harvard’s Business School is currently case-based.
to be case- case based
learning is. Basically what this means at Western University is that in the first two years of veterinary school you are given a serious of 64 one-week cases that generate “learning issues”, lectures and discussions among your fellow classmates and faculty. The third and fourth years are then clinical rotation years. Third year rotations are set up by the school and then in your fourth year you get to work with your faculty mentor to set up 8 four-week
rotations. Since I want to go into equine majority of my fourth year is going to be in veterinary clinics all over California. classmates are going to be traveling all over
medicine, the private equine Some of my the world next
year to visit highly renowned veterinary schools in places like Australia, Italy and even
Don’t get me wrong, veterinary school is going to be hard work and long hours and it isn’t just about traveling to different places. Just to give you a little glimpse, my first hit by car patient on my Emergency Medicine rotation last month required me to stay there until 4 am the next morning caring for my patient, but in the end watching that boxer walk out the clinic with the opportunity to be adopted made the time and effort worth it.
This is only a very brief description of what school has been like at Western University. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue 2, August 2009
Pre‐Vet Club Newsletter