Tracking works differently at different schools. I have friends who are 'small animal focused' at NCSU who are not taking ANY food animal/equine rotations throughout fourth year. To me, this is a real shame. We did have basic large animal skills/husbandry/production classes throughout years 1-3 (required), but I'd like to see at least one required rotation in a field that isn't your area of interest. There is a lot to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging in a different facet of the profession. I quite enjoy large animal/production medicine. The production disciplines share much in common with lab animal. Had I been younger, I would have seriously considered entering the field as a large animal practitioner. Another thing that sort of bugs me about tracking (at least at our school), is that that the large animal folks are required to take multiple small animal rotations in our companion animal hospital. How is that fair to the large animal peeps? If large animal focused peeps are required to take small animal rotations, I think that the opposite should also be true as well- small animal folks should have to take at least one rotation in an area not their discipline. Just my opinion. Students at NCSU aren't barred from taking rotations based upon their 'track' (we call them focus areas), with the exception of zoo folks. Many of the zoo rotations have prerequisite barriers to entry that a student wouldn't have obtained prior to fourth year had they not been a zoo focused student. Some of the advanced equine stuff (like podiatry or equine ortho) may also be restricted, not sure. Other than that, rotations are fair game. I'll be completing a rotation in equine medicine, and I'm a lab animal student. Same goes for my rotations in swine medicine and ruminant health management. If a food animal person was really into ultrasound, they'd be welcome to take our rotation in the small animal hospital (I'm just not sure how much they'd get out of it). For the newer students on this board, schools will require a set number of 'core' clinical blocks that ALL students, regardless of track, are required to take. These differ by program, but typically include things like radiology/DI, anesthesia, clin/anatomic path, etc. The remainder of your schedule you'll fill out with general electives and rotations required by your track. There are some blocks I'm super stoked I'm not required to take...like Therio (cringe- I've always hated repro, and any sort of ortho- because I"m simply not a fan). It's good to get a variety of respectful opinions on clinical year strategy, as you've seen here on this thread. One thing you should definitely ask various schools is the quantity of blocks allotted to extramurals and vacation. Why? Because these make a difference in preparing you for the match/jobs (whichever way you're going to go upon graduation). I met a student from Ohio State this summer who was granted 12 weeks of extramurals in her clinical year to complete off-site experiences in her discipline of choice. NCSU comes nowhere near that with respect to offsite flexibility- we get 6 weeks, max, for credit. I mentioned vacation, as we have an additional 8 weeks to use for extramural experiences as we see fit. There's a catch to doing that, though. For those individuals completing experiences in practice (using vacation blocks), NCSU's malpractice insurance won't cover you on a vacation block as it's not being completed for NCSU credit. AVMA PLIT must be in place BEFORE starting, should you want to go the vacation for experience route. It goes without saying that said student wouldn't receive credit for those blocks, but nobody really cares about that. You don't need to have earned school credit in order to list and experience on your CV/resume. Just something to consider. You want to have a decent idea of the flexibility alotted to you in fourth year upon starting the curriculum. It matters with respect to planning.