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What is vet school actually like?

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by Kara31191, 12.15.07.

  1. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    I know my goal is to go to vet school and become a vet a few years down the road. I know how the process of admissions goes (for the most part) but how is vet school on a day to day basis in each year?

    What do people mean by being in clinics the last year or two? Do you act as a vet but supervised in a clinic? Or are you a technician? How does this work?

    And classes? How many classes do you take?

    Also, my vet explained to me that she had an argument with a professor and she tried a surgery on a hawks broken wing that had healed the wrong way. Her professor said it needed to be euthanized, but she refused and was allowed to try the surgery. What is the environment actually like?

    I always thought vet school would be very uptight. Is it as uptight (minus exams)? Do a lot of people fail out right away?

    Thank you for answering and reading my swarm of questions! :laugh:
  2. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency walk like a monkey, kick like a mule

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I know my goal is to go to vet school and become a vet a few years down the road. I know how the process of admissions goes (for the most part) but how is vet school on a day to day basis in each year?

    What do people mean by being in clinics the last year or two? Do you act as a vet but supervised in a clinic? Or are you a technician? How does this work?


    In your foruth year, you work somewhere in between a resident and a veterinarian. You are basically sort of a "supervised vet". At my school, fourth year is a full twelve months and consists of continous 4-week rotations (ie optho rotation, surgery, large animal field work, small animal, radiology, orthopedics, exotics, public health, etc). Generally, there are "core" clerkships which every has to do. I.e. even if you plan to do small animal medicine, you stil have to do the core large animal clerkship, equine clerkship, etc.

    And classes? How many classes do you take?

    It depends, but I am usually taking about 7-8 classes. The basic minimum is 18-19 credit hours a semester - that is, minimum just to move on to next year. I am in class and lab from 8:00 am to 3:00 or 5:00 pm every day. And you know what? Pssst. It ISNT as horrible as people day ;) Yes of course it is hard - the volume of information they throw at you can be absolutely mindboggling. You NEED to keep on top of everything all the time, because if you fall behind in one class, you are screwed - you are already swamped doing work for the other seven! Forget college, this is 100x harder. But those stories of having no time for social life, constantly studying and nothing else etc....no. If you balance everything, you can have a perfectly fine time.


    I always thought vet school would be very uptight. Is it as uptight (minus exams)? Do a lot of people fail out right away?


    Yes and no. It is a very competitive atmosphere at times, and there are always those uptight people. Some people say vet school is socially like high school - and it can be. You are ina very concentrated group of very smart people, and there is bound to be friction, gossip, backbiting, etc. People generally get over themselves after first year, when they realize that "Hey....I need other people's support...we are all in this together" But if you find a good group, the majority of people are laid back and easy to get along with. There is a big spirit of camraderie, since you are all in the same boat. Most people are more than willing to be friends because we all want to pull ourselves and everyone else through.

    In terms of failing and weeding out....No. Our class of 90 has only had one person fail out, to my knowledge. Some people have had to leave for family our health reasons, but that again is only maybe 1 out of the whole school per year. People do not fail in droves. These people/profs/vets WANT to keep you here. They WANT you to be vets. Of course, if you slack and don't do the work required, you can fail out. But no one is out to get you.

    However, like I said, you can't mess around - in our school if you fail ONE core class, you're out.


    Thank you for answering and reading my swarm of questions!


    No problem. I see you have leos - nice! I ha a breeding pair of fattails myself. Gotte love those geckos.
  3. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    Thank you for that lovely response!

    Sometimes it's scary to think that I have so many years of school ahead of me... :scared: My high school is one of the most competitive in MA, and since MA is pretty educated and has high ranks, I'm guessing we're a very academically competitive school. We have the same ranking as Brooks (Private HS here in MA) and things are just very uptight. Enough of my HS ramblings...

    I love my leos! :love: I almost brought home a pastel beardie the other day! I love them... However what I REALLY want is a Tegu. But I'm not going to be here much longer... before I move out and go to college so I don't know if I could take any animals!

    I doubt any school is going to let me take a Greenwing macaw either... or my baby, the Scarlet! :laugh:

    One of my baby leos had an eye problem... We thought it was a vitamin A deficiency, so I got sweet potato baby food and she'll eat it twice a day; however, it still isn't fixing it, so I'm applying antibiotics on the eye everyday. She's getting mighty thin and isn't growing well, so I'm worried. The other gecko is doing fine. The sick one is usually eating dusted mealies bacause she can't seem to catch the crickets... she's eating about one cricket a day... and some mealies, all dusted. I'm worried sick! :( Do you have any lizards or anythign at the moment?

    Thank you for the response though! Sorry for the long reply. There are no intelligent reptile forums though HAHA.

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  4. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency walk like a monkey, kick like a mule

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    Is is a cloudy discoloration? If upping the Vit A hasn't helped, and antibiotics aren't clearing it up either, it could possibly be fungal (or resistant bacterial). Are there any exotic vets in your area who could do a culture or something?

    I would love a tegu also...but considering my current household (dog, cat, four snakes, two geckos, two tarantulas, and a betta) all in a two bedroom apartment, I don't know if I would have the room! :laugh:

    http://www.alexhuereptiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6925

    This is a pretty good forum, and here's a thread relating to your question. I hope it works out! And those babies are just too cute...toooo cute....waaah I want more baby fatties...but I need to re-design shipping methods as cold weather sets in, so gotta wait on that.
  5. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    Yes, next week they are both going to the vet (my boss is an exotics vet) and we can do tests and such. I want to show her the comparison in size And no, the eye isn't cloudy, *****, or even swollen. As long as she is eating though! She ate like 3 crickets today, which is great, as well as the sweet potato baby food! I will pay for treatment for the little thing but she didn't want to do to much earlier because of their age. The hatchlings are roughly 3 months old! =0

    I wonder when they will get their spots! They only have the stripes right now.

    Thank you for the link!
  6. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    Anyone else want to answer the OP? Please? :oops:

    :laugh: Thanks for the help!


    ... Again... just joking. I appreciate everyone's help here!

    :D Kara
  7. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011

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    Hey kara...I just got done with my first semester of vet school so I really can't add anything to what WhtsThFrequency said regarding clinical years. Here's what I can though (and if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to pm me since I don't check the board very often)

    And classes? How many classes do you take?

    In this regard, Mizzou is a little different. We take 8 week sections of classes (except the first semester which is a normal 16 week schedule). But so far we took 4 classes for 18 hours. They were:

    Physiology - 6 hours
    Anatomy - 5 hours
    Cell Biology/Biochem - 4 hours
    Histology - 3 hours

    Next instructional period (when we begin the 8 week rotations of classes), we have all the same except Nutrition in place of Cell Biology and a little change in credit hours for them (still 4 classes though). The common thing though is the 18-19 credit hours at a time.

    I always thought vet school would be very uptight. Is it as uptight (minus exams)? Do a lot of people fail out right away?

    Vet school (at least mine, I can't speak for all of them) is very laid back. There are always the cutthroat people in every class, but in general people have seemed to really cut back on it (from undergrad) and it's a general sense of "let's help each other get through this." Plus, the people who are doing best in the class are probably the most laid back (not to say they don't study their butts off, there's a huge difference).

    No, a lot of people don't fail out. There's a reason why everyone is there, and as long as they're doing the work, there's no reason for someone to fail out. We did lose 3 for health/family reasons, but they're expected to matriculate with the next class. At semester we may lose a person to grades, but as I said, it's usually not a problem at all for people who do the work.

    Let me know if I can answer anything else!
  8. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011

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    Hi Kara,
    What do people mean by being in clinics the last year or two? Do you act as a vet but supervised in a clinic? Or are you a technician? How does this work?

    At tufts starting in March of your third year you are in clinics. This means that you are taking histories, doing physical exams, and then consulting with the vet about your diagnoses. You are in clinics from March of third year until you graduate in May (through summer). You get a little vacation time but when depends on your rotations. We also get a lot of time for electives which let you focus your clinical time beyond the core rotations (or if you want more time in a core you can do extra during your elective). At tufts we also have selective time which is basically shadowing/volunteering during the semester you first two years you have Tuesday afternoons off for selective time and you are required to have three credits of selective time for graduation (80 hours= 1 credit).

    And classes? How many classes do you take?

    This fall we took physiological chemistry, developmental anatomy, histology, gross anatomy, physiology, clinical skills, problem based learning, and human animal relations. Some of our courses roll over into next semster as well and end part way through the semester. If you want to see the layout of courses for Tufts you can go to http://www.tufts.edu/vet/academic/organization.html

    and see each years courses. As far as each day goes you are sitting in lecture most of the day usually 8 or 9am to 4 or 5pm but the schedule changes to some degree everyday. Unlike college you don't have the same schedule every week.

    I always thought vet school would be very uptight. Is it as uptight (minus exams)? Do a lot of people fail out right away?

    I haven't found vet school to be very uptight. We do have an exam pretty much every week so there is always something to study for but we have fun too. I do tend to study a lot more than some of my classmates--but that is just to satisfy myself. If I haven't done my best I get angry at myself! I know of one person that is withdrawing but generally if you stay on top of the material you will do fine.

    Thank you for answering and reading my swarm of questions! :laugh:

    No problem. You can PM me if you have other specific questions about Tufts.
  9. cyrille104

    cyrille104

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    ha. hahahaha

    where do you go again?
  10. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    Thank you!

    I didn't want to be a pain in the *** asking for more responses! :D Thank you.

    I got my vet's opinion on all of these, however, she had a major anxiety attack during vet school and was in the hospital for a while. She said she would not go back to vet school ever again. :rolleyes: She went to Tufts. I'm glad there are some happier responses! :scared:
  11. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011

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    yea don't fret too much about it. I love vet school, but that's not to say I don't get my butt handed to me every now and then. It's really a blast though (but so far, I think I'd agree...one time is good enough!)
  12. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    Hmmm... I think that maybe it wouldn't be so bad because it would be a subject I'm interested in.

    Are the people in your classes really cut throat about grades? Or are (most) pretty laid back? Do you get a long or is it clicky?

    I know that the vet conferences and such are (supposedly) very clicky. At least so I've heard!
  13. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency walk like a monkey, kick like a mule

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    I will say that you need to be a wee bit careful saying "Oh, it is what I am interested in, it will be fine!" because trust me, you will have take a lot of classes you are NOT interested in. Whether it be Biochemistry, Epidemiology and Statistics, Opthamology, Pharmacology, Business, Dermatology....I find out of the 8 classes I take, only 4 or 5 are actually "what I am interested in". The rest is "a bunch of stuff I have to learn so I do not fail". You will have to learn a ton of Large Animal med to be a competent LA vet and surgeon, even if you are Small animal and will "never use it". You will be made to learn a ton of small animal med even if you are going to be Equine and will never use it.. Etc etc.

    The classes are all extremely, extremely detailed. No "Ok, here is what you need to know for clinics, here is how much xylazine to give a dog and why" it is "Here is the chemical structure of xylazine, memorize all of its chemical features, here are its pharmokinetics, pharmodynamics, modes of admin, special side effects, here are all the interactions it will have with other drugs, etc...." ...They basically try to make you an expert on everything. It is very, very difficult. They really throw you in and you need to learn how to swim.

    I am certainly not trying to discourage you, and please take this the right way (you seem very bright) - but vet school is nothing like high school, AP bio, nothing like college....it is crazy,crazy crazy detail and a HUGE amount of subject matter.

    People are usually the most uptight about grades first year because of the tremendous transition from colleg-style learning. But after that, it winds down. Here 94 and above is an A (difficult get in the hardcore 4-credit classes) A- is 93-90, B+ 89-87 and so on so on.

    We all get along due to the fact that we are all in the same field and want to help each other get through. However, like I said, whenever you throw a bunch of smart people in a small, hard-working environment, yes - it can get cliquey. But never to the point of actual immaturity (at least not openly ;) ) I am extremely, extremely intolerant of all this clique business - I went throught that in high school and hated it (I was the pariah with the black eyeliner and dyed hair and piercings - heh) and I find vet school, while it has its socially retarded moments, is better. For the most part, people are mature enough to keep a good spirit of camraderie.

    Actually, people in the specific professional societies (I think that is what you mean by conferences?) such as AAEP, SCACVP, and whatnot, tend to be the least cliquey of the bunch. That is because they are extremely dedicated to what they want to do and don't waste time with petty social issues. Now, I could go off on SCAVMA and all that....but I think I have done my SCAVMA rant here before and will not beat a dead horse ;)

    [off topic]

    Your parrots are gorgeous. Do you need a exotics license to keep the macaws in MA?

    [/off topic]
  14. RazorDoc2010

    RazorDoc2010 Mizzou 2011

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    AMEN!!! i.e. Histology!!! ugh!
  15. Kara31191

    Kara31191

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    Thank you so much! I love asking questions and participating on this board. It's really helpful!

    And no, we don't need a liscense to keep them in MA. **Off topic story** I was 12 and I had my cockatiel, Pearl, who recently passed. My Mom "hated" birds. She's an animal person, but she thought birds were messy disgusting creatures, despite their looks. Well, I was young, and I convinced my parents to go see a B&G macaw at the local MSPCA. Well my Mom fell in love with this bird, Mac, and asked to bring Max home. Unfortunately, he had already been adopted and they don't adopt to first time lg parrot people. So it was love at first sight and within a year and a half we were up to six parrots! :laugh: I made a great argument and got the birds. I'm really spoiled in case you can't tell. =P

    Thank you for the compliment. Parrots are my main interest!

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