Aug 4, 2012
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Hey all!

I haven't been active on here in a while (who knew vet school would keep you so busy? :grumpy:) but I really need to get some perspective on this from other vet students. I recently came to the discovery that my two best friends in vet school are gunners. Let's call them friends A and B.

A, B and I hit it off right away. We sit next to each other, study together, and occasionally hangout outside of class. We study well together, we get each other's sense of humor, and are generally simpatico except for the fact that A and B are vocal perfectionists and are obsessed with obtaining A's in all our classes. :arghh:

A little about me: I'm not very grade focused--I'm more interested in becoming a good vet, not a fact spewing, memorization machine. As a result my grades aren't amazing, but they're not terrible. I try and put in a solid effort for every exam, but I don't kill myself over it and I try and maintain a solid work-life balance. I'm pretty happy with how my first semester is finishing up, and I keep reminding myself that next semester will go even better with this first one under my belt. That being said, maybe I'm a little insecure--my GPA was definitely on the low end, and I definitely peaked grade-wise freshman year of college..:confused:

It's hard because I genuinely enjoy A and B's company, but when we're together of course the main topic of conversation is school. Grades always seem to come up* (which I kind of as a rule hate talking about), and they say things like, "I can't believe I only got a 87 on that last exam! I'm a B student!" or complain about getting 1 point off total on an assignment. They obsessively calculate their grades and discuss how many they are "allowed" to get wrong on an upcoming exam in order to maintain a particular letter grade, and generally they just kinda feed off of each other. The thing is, I would be very happy with an 87% in some of our classes (I'm looking at you, biochemistry!), and their complaining makes it hard for me not to compare myself and suddenly become extremely dissatisfied with my own grades.

TL;DR I'm looking for strategies to deal with classmates who complain about getting grades I would be happy to get!

*They never ask me what I got on an exam, but they are aware that I routinely score much lower than either of them.
 

StartingoverVet

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Hey all!

I haven't been active on here in a while (who knew vet school would keep you so busy? :grumpy:) but I really need to get some perspective on this from other vet students. I recently came to the discovery that my two best friends in vet school are gunners. Let's call them friends A and B.

A, B and I hit it off right away. We sit next to each other, study together, and occasionally hangout outside of class. We study well together, we get each other's sense of humor, and are generally simpatico except for the fact that A and B are vocal perfectionists and are obsessed with obtaining A's in all our classes. :arghh:

A little about me: I'm not very grade focused--I'm more interested in becoming a good vet, not a fact spewing, memorization machine. As a result my grades aren't amazing, but they're not terrible. I try and put in a solid effort for every exam, but I don't kill myself over it and I try and maintain a solid work-life balance. I'm pretty happy with how my first semester is finishing up, and I keep reminding myself that next semester will go even better with this first one under my belt. That being said, maybe I'm a little insecure--my GPA was definitely on the low end, and I definitely peaked grade-wise freshman year of college..:confused:

It's hard because I genuinely enjoy A and B's company, but when we're together of course the main topic of conversation is school. Grades always seem to come up* (which I kind of as a rule hate talking about), and they say things like, "I can't believe I only got a 87 on that last exam! I'm a B student!" or complain about getting 1 point off total on an assignment. They obsessively calculate their grades and discuss how many they are "allowed" to get wrong on an upcoming exam in order to maintain a particular letter grade, and generally they just kinda feed off of each other. The thing is, I would be very happy with an 87% in some of our classes (I'm looking at you, biochemistry!), and their complaining makes it hard for me not to compare myself and suddenly become extremely dissatisfied with my own grades.

TL;DR I'm looking for strategies to deal with classmates who complain about getting grades I would be happy to get!

*They never ask me what I got on an exam, but they are aware that I routinely score much lower than either of them.
I am not sure there is any "strategy"...
You need to be more confident in yourself to know that what you are doing is right for you. If so, it really shouldn't matter what they think. To me it is clear that you have not truly accepted that the grades aren't important, you just are saying that.
When you truly believe and accept that, there comments will just seem childish, silly, and immature. Then you can laugh at them.
Everyone does think about their grades from time to time no matter how much they are disinterested, it just shouldn't "stick" to you much.

Anyway, my opinion.
 
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Minnerbelle

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I had a friend like that. HAD is the key word here...

For me, this friend's obsession with grades became waaaay too annoying. The comments about how horrible it is not to get an A was really rude and insensitive to the other friends who were not A students, and the insecurity and competitiveness + pseudo worshipping of those she perceived to have higher grades than her was extra annoying. I had heart to hearts with her about it, but she continued to stay the course... So I decided after a while that this was not someone I wanted to spend my free time with.
 

pinkpuppy9

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I'm still an undergrad, so I'm not sure how helpful I can be. But I've noticed that those who are obsessing over grades and comparing themselves to other students (and saying things like "Wow, who could possibly fail that exam? So easy!") are worried that they are:

a) Not the cream of the crop anymore, so have to make it clear to themselves they are doing better than others
b) secretly proud of their grades, but have some sort of insecurity issue
c) genuinely not aware of how annoying or even sometimes hurtful they can be

I've been on both ends of the spectrum in my classes. It's awesome when you're on the top looking down and wondering why everyone scored so much lower than you did. When you're on the bottom, it stings. My current roommate is someone who thinks that if you didn't do as well as she did on an exam, you clearly didn't study and don't take your classes seriously (thankfully I'm not in her classes). I tend to recognize that everyone understands and remembers material differently, and sometimes you just don't "get" a class here and there. Maybe your A+ class is yet to come!

If your friends really are eating away at you like this, I would suggest finding others. Not to say that you should burn bridges by any means, but it sounds like they are aware you don't score as high as they do. Yet they choose to say things like "I'm a B student!" around you like it's a bad thing. I get the feeling these friends make you feel bad.

TL;DR: Friends shouldn't make you feel bad :)
 
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BlackDog17

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I can see a lot of people are going to be quick to dismiss A and B as bad friends, but I really think you need to look at it from their perspective. From what you described, they're not saying these things to make you feel bad or to put down those with lower grades than they have. Some people just like to talk about classes and grades, for whatever reason. That's especially true in vet school with all the Type A personalities who suddenly go from being top of every class to being B and C students. It makes a lot of people nervous and insecure, and talking about grades and classes and comparing themselves to others is their way of dealing with that. Sure, if they're acting like hotshots or intentionally making others feel bad for having lower grades, that's a problem, but that really doesn't sound like the case here.

Have you tried talking to them about it? Letting them know that talking about grades makes you uncomfortable? It sounds like you spend most of your free time with these people so asking them to stop talking about classes entirely would be a bit selfish, especially if it really is just their way of blowing off steam, but you could ask them to do it less often or wait until you're not around.
 
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CanHardlyWait

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I agree that you should talk to them about it. They may not realize it bothers you, or that it feels like an insult to you. If they're your real friends, they will at least try to curb it (but this is vet school...the longer you're here, the less real life you have and thus the less real/other stuff you have to talk about).

Also maybe try to find out why they are so obsessed with grades. There is a super gunner in my class that initially was really annoying about it. One night, we had a couple of beers and got to talking. I found out why. Turns out this person has parents who came from really disadvantaged backgrounds and became really successful in medical professions. The parents now support my classmate financially and are paying for school, so the gunner-ness/grade obsession was really just a huge desire to make the parents proud. So now, while it's still really annoying, I can tolerate it cuz I have some perspective on the situation.
I have also found that some of the gunners in my class are dealing with trying to keep grades up for internships and residencies. Instead of being annoyed with them, I feel kind of bad for them (not in a pity way) because of that pressure they are under to realize yet another difficult goal. I luckily will be delighted to "just" graduate , pass the NAVLE and move on to my career as a GP. I can't imagine vet school being a repeat of undergrad, where every point on an exam mattered and some of your classmates were competition. It would be, to me, unbearable.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, sometimes in a negative situation you can change your attitude to make it better, rather than on relying on other people to change.
 
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allieh8607

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I made friends with a gunner this semester. I didn't know it at the time, but I, too, have grown very annoyed by her over the course of the semester. She became so stressed out in the middle to end of the semester and ended up giving herself an ulcer. I assumed the entire semester that she was stressed because she did poorly on her first set of exams and was worried about failing out. After our final grades were posted, I found out from Facebook that she got a 4.0. Why she made herself so stressed out is beyond me, but I can only assume it's because of her Type A personality and desire for perfection. She strives for it in all aspects, not just academics. It would make me so angry when she'd argue for 2 points when she already got an A on the exam. I've already kind of decided I'm going to try and find a new group of friends, because her personality is quite exhausting to be around. Especially for someone like me who is completely content with "just passing". But if you're looking to stay friends with A & B, I think I'll echo what everyone else has said and just talk to them about it. I think SOV's suggestions are spot on as well. If you truly feel confident in your current approach and are ok not breaking your back to get A's, then I don't think their bickering constantly about grades should phase you much. You know for yourself that your vet school experience will be much more enjoyable if you're not constantly obsessing over grades. Just think about how miserable they probably are all the time. Think about how balanced your life is able to be compared to theirs. Or I guess if talking to them doesn't work and they continue to discuss grades to that extent in your presence, try your best to change the subject or keep providing things to talk about that aren't grade related.
 

that redhead

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To give you some perspective: it really rubbed me the wrong way when you said "I'm not very grade focused--I'm more interested in becoming a good vet, not a fact spewing, memorization machine." That insinuates to me that you think any student who cares about their grades is only good for getting good grades and not being a good vet. Sometimes that's the case, but not always. I doubt you meant it to come across that way, but that was how I took it.

Similarly, maybe your friends don't realize that the way they are is bothering you; the only way for them to know is if you tell them. So the next time they get into their grade groove, speak up and tell them how you feel. It isn't fair to ask them to never talk about grades/school around you, but it is fair to ask them to tone it down. And if they can't do that, they can't blame you for seeking out new friends.
 
Dec 12, 2013
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To give you some perspective: it really rubbed me the wrong way when you said "I'm not very grade focused--I'm more interested in becoming a good vet, not a fact spewing, memorization machine." That insinuates to me that you think any student who cares about their grades is only good for getting good grades and not being a good vet. Sometimes that's the case, but not always. I doubt you meant it to come across that way, but that was how I took it.
I agree. I also happen to believe that people who are putting in the effort to do well, and learn as much as possible, are likely to become knowledgeable veterinarians. Call me crazy, but I don't want to hear from my vet that they didn't seem to care much about getting good grades in vet school.

It also sounds like A and B are allowing themselves to vent about grades around you, but are not trying to involve you in a competition (you specified that they never ask you about your scores). If you don't want them to discuss grades around you, say so.
 

DVMDream

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I agree. I also happen to believe that people who are putting in the effort to do well, and learn as much as possible, are likely to become knowledgeable veterinarians. Call me crazy, but I don't want to hear from my vet that they didn't seem to care much about getting good grades in vet school.
Yes, they are likely to be knowledgeable but that isn't all that being a vet is. There is also the "bed-side" manner, effective communication, etc. (Not saying gunners don't have this just mentioning there is more to being a good vet than having gotten all A's in school). Also, it appears from your status that you are not a vet student as of now. No one is on here saying that they don't care about passing and becoming a good vet, the difference between a C and an A is often knowing fine details, which are usually the things that very few practicing vets recall. I have asked vets that I worked with previously if they remembered certain things and they don't. You can NOT learn everything and there is no shame in passing with C's. None. It isn't that you "don't care"; it is that you are trying to understand the broad concepts that go with being a vet the best that you can and you just aren't necessarily memorizing the minor details. As my school put it.... to get a C is to know and understand well everything you need to be an effective vet, to get a B means you remembered a bit extra/details that might be known to those who specialize and to get an A would mean you are an expert in that area. That is how my school grades. I can not be an expert in every subject. I need to know the basics and understand them well and realize when I need to recommend a specialist for my patients. That means getting mostly C's with maybe a B here or there. It doesn't mean that I "don't care". Nor is anyone here saying that. It is something that is very hard to explain until you are in vet school.... getting super high grades often means taking away part of who you are and consuming every moment of your life with vet school; I wouldn't ask for any person to do that. In vet school, a C is a good grade and you have to break your back and study a hell of a lot just to manage that C. Not only that, you will never know what kind of grades your vet received in vet school, you will only know how they treat you, your pet and how knowledgeable they seem when they talk to you. Grades will never come up with a client once you graduate.

These last exams I got to the point where I was saying "I don't care" and it wasn't that I don't care about my grade or don't care about the exams or passing; it is that you get to a point where you are so exhausted and so through with studying that you simply can not bring yourself to have the motivation to even look at one more word/sentence/whatever. Vet school is a different ball game and the words of "I don't care" get tossed around a lot, but they don't mean what someone on the outside would think they mean.
 

StartingoverVet

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Call me crazy, but I don't want to hear from my vet that they didn't seem to care much about getting good grades in vet school.
.
pretty sure that the correlation between quality of care/ability and good grades is close to zero.

Vet school is designed for people who can memorize great to do much better than those who aren't able to memorize as well.
Memorization is not a good predictor of clinical ability, because clinicians need to be able to think. There is no thinking the first 2-3 years of vet school (depending where you go).

I laugh when I think one of the best vet surgeons I met barely made it through school.. ( I know anecdotal evidence is for crap but whatever).
 
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DVMDream

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To the OP, as far as gunners, maybe make a suggestion that school can only be discussed when on campus/at the school or when you are agreeing to study together, but that at all other times talk about school should be off limits. My friends and I have done that and it seems to work out well. You also have to speak up, my one friend hates talking about school/vet things all the time (which is annoying when you are actually at school doing school stuff), but I know this, so when not at school I respect that and don't talk about vet school. I have another friend who likes to review things and I don't mind discussing with her. You just have to speak up; they may not even realize it is bothering you.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to do well, I wish I could get better grades but our school never gives out A's. They told us on day 1 to never expect to receive an A because they just don't give them out. I do sometimes wish though that my massive efforts would be recognized by something more than a C, but I am happy with passing. There is no shame with wanting to do well and there is no shame with just wanting to survive vet school, both are fine. There is something wrong with the person who puts others down and makes them feel bad for not getting A's or B's or for constantly blabbing about how great they are at school and making others around them feel uncomfortable. But no one should feel bad for doing well and no one should feel bad for getting a C and just barely surviving. I don't talk about grades with classmates, it never comes up, we simply mention if we passed or not and that is the end of the conversation.
 
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Trust me, I have a solid understanding of bedside manner (stall side?) and communication, etc. I'm not a vet student yet because I decided to pursue it after spending several years as a professional in the sporthorse world. I get it. I also busted my tail to earn good grades in my Master's degree - where, I'll point out, a C is considered a failing grade.

If you're happy with passing, and don't care about grades, then that's your prerogative. But if other people have a different expectation for their own performance, that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with them, or that they will be lousy vets down the line because they are just "fact-spewing memorization machines."
 

dyachei

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Trust me, I have a solid understanding of bedside manner (stall side?) and communication, etc. I'm not a vet student yet because I decided to pursue it after spending several years as a professional in the sporthorse world. I get it. I also busted my tail to earn good grades in my Master's degree - where, I'll point out, a C is considered a failing grade.

If you're happy with passing, and don't care about grades, then that's your prerogative. But if other people have a different expectation for their own performance, that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with them, or that they will be lousy vets down the line because they are just "fact-spewing memorization machines."
But a C isn't considered a failing grade in vet school. And it shouldn't be.
 

StartingoverVet

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Trust me, I have a solid understanding of bedside manner (stall side?) and communication, etc. I'm not a vet student yet because I decided to pursue it after spending several years as a professional in the sporthorse world. I get it. I also busted my tail to earn good grades in my Master's degree - where, I'll point out, a C is considered a failing grade.

If you're happy with passing, and don't care about grades, then that's your prerogative. But if other people have a different expectation for their own performance, that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with them, or that they will be lousy vets down the line because they are just "fact-spewing memorization machines."
ha ha ha..

THere is NO comparison to most Master's degree where an A is meaningless, and you generally get one just for doing the work.
Grades in vet school are not a good indicator of how much someone studies, they just aren't. You will have to learn that.

And no one is saying good grades = lousy vet. Now that would just be stupid.

The important point grades=no correlation to success or competence.
 

DVMDream

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Trust me, I have a solid understanding of bedside manner (stall side?) and communication, etc. I'm not a vet student yet because I decided to pursue it after spending several years as a professional in the sporthorse world. I get it. I also busted my tail to earn good grades in my Master's degree - where, I'll point out, a C is considered a failing grade.

If you're happy with passing, and don't care about grades, then that's your prerogative. But if other people have a different expectation for their own performance, that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with them, or that they will be lousy vets down the line because they are just "fact-spewing memorization machines."
In vet school, you are going to be busting your tail and still getting C's.... best be prepared. Also, no one said that there was something wrong with someone getting good grades in vet school, no one. I even made it a point in my post to state just that. I even said that I wished my efforts would be rewarded by more than a C. You don't get it. That is the issue here, you can not possibly understand until you are in vet school. There is NOTHING wrong with getting good grades, there is NOTHING wrong with getting C's.

There IS something wrong with the person that goes around stating that if you aren't getting A's and B's then you aren't good enough/won't make a good vet. There IS something wrong with the person that is so obsessed with grades they constantly talk about them and make everyone else around them uncomfortable. There IS something wrong with the person that bad-mouths other classmates behind their back saying that they don't deserve to be in vet school.

Come back to this thread after you have been in vet school and spent 18+ hours for days in a row studying your ass off and you are still getting only C's. Come back to this thread when you are so exhausted by the studying you can barely even read through the fog. Come back to this thread when you have stared down a multiple choice question in which every answer is slightly right but they want the one that is "most" right and you have to figure out what they were thinking.

Also, grades are NOT everything... that was what my statement was with the "bedside manner"; you can be the biggest genius in the world and if you can't talk with/communicate with people then you will not have clients returning to you. You can also have the best "bedside manner" but if you seem hesitant or a client feels you aren't as knowledgeable as you should be, then they won't return. You would not be allowed to pass vet school with a C if the schools didn't believe that you knew enough to make a good vet.

Also, another point to make.... get ready for when you do graduate as a vet and you have to say these words to a client, "I am not sure/I don't know/I need to go look something up." It will happen, it does happen and I have seen it happen to many vets. You can NOT know everything. Vet school is meant to teach you the basics, some of the common ailments, how to treat/manage/prevent/cure them and some basic surgery experience. You will not come out of vet school knowing how to treat Fluffy that has some strange, rare disease and chances are you will have to research just to figure out what is wrong. You will not come out of vet school being able to plate a broken leg or amputate a leg or even perform a surgery to remove a foreign body. You are taught the basics, the rest is learned through practice and experience. Get used to feeling like you are lost and know nothing, because it will happen.
 
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Wow. Your condescending view of graduate work obviously comes from an entirely different experience than mine, which was highly competitive and certainly did not involve receiving an A "just for doing the work."

I don't believe that getting good grades automatically guarantees you will be good at veterinary medicine, nor do I believe that people who don't get a 4.0 won't become good vets. Grades are never a good indicator of how much someone studies; that isn't exclusive to vet school. I didn't say that if you're not getting good grades that you won't be a good vet or don't deserve to be in vet school. I said that I want a vet who cares about doing well in vet school. If you're working your butt off and wish you could see that work rewarded with more than a C - well, then you obviously DO care.
 

dyachei

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Wow. Your condescending view of graduate work obviously comes from an entirely different experience than mine, which was highly competitive and certainly did not involve receiving an A "just for doing the work."

I don't believe that getting good grades automatically guarantees you will be good at veterinary medicine, nor do I believe that people who don't get a 4.0 won't become good vets. Grades are never a good indicator of how much someone studies; that isn't exclusive to vet school. I didn't say that if you're not getting good grades that you won't be a good vet or don't deserve to be in vet school. I said that I want a vet who cares about doing well in vet school. If you're working your butt off and wish you could see that work rewarded with more than a C - well, then you obviously DO care.
there's a difference between caring about grades and caring about knowing the material
 

DVMDream

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I said that I want a vet who cares about doing well in vet school. If you're working your butt off and wish you could see that work rewarded with more than a C - well, then you obviously DO care.
The point is that you will never, ever, ever know what your vet cared about in vet school. Have you ever asked your vet, "Did you care about your grades in vet school?"
No, you haven't; I doubt you have, and if you have, then you need to find something else to worry about in your vet, because that is the last thing you need to worry about. There are many aspects about what makes a good vet and what they thought of vet school/cared about in vet school is not one of them.

Also, you are equating caring about doing well in vet school = caring about grades.

You can care about doing well in vet school without caring about what your resulting grade is. I care about learning what I need to know, I care about understanding the material and physiology, I care about gaining experience while in vet school, I care about my patients and their owners, I care about knowing what the best possible treatment is for what ails them, I care about knowing when I can no longer help the patient, I care about being sure my patients aren't in any pain. I do not care if I miss the cryptic multiple choice question that has been tossed in front of me seeing if I know that it is Bordetella or Pasteurella that causes atrophic rhinits, when really it is both of them but they want which one is "more responsible".
 
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Today I actually told A & B that I am going to do some solo study time after we got out of one of our finals, so I never really talked to them after the exam. I guess avoiding them afterwards is one way to deal with it.. Although I think if either of them says something in the future I will talk to them directly about it. I kind of suspect that neither of them realize how their negativity (although directed at themselves) is bringing me down. (It makes me think of a super skinny chick complaining about how "fat" she is to her plus-size friend. If you feel that way about yourself, how do you feel about ME?)

And by my initial remark about not being super concerned with grades, I'm focusing on learning the information that will be clinically relevant to me when I am in practice, not the tiny details we're expected to memorize for an exam. That translates to B's and C's grade-wise for me, which I'm cool with. If someone else wants to try and pursue one of those elusive A's, they're more than welcome to, but I just don't understand why someone would break their back just to get that letter. Props to the folks who want to specialize!
 
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that redhead

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Sorry to open a can of worms here. I've heard the original sentiment ("Just want to be a good vet, not get straight As") many times since coming to vet school. It bothers me because I've made a strong effort to improve my grades since deciding to pursue residency. I shot myself in the foot hardcore as an undergrad with poor grades and limiting my choices of matriculation and I want to be as strong an applicant for these next applications as possible. I don't want to force my husband to uproot and all that jazz - I want to have a choice. Am I going to be a worse vet than my classmates who aren't doing as well as I am, just because I have better grades? I don't think so, just like I don't think they'll be worse vets because they got "just" passing grades, which they worked hard for, too.
 

DVMDream

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Sorry to open a can of worms here. I've heard the original sentiment ("Just want to be a good vet, not get straight As") many times since coming to vet school. It bothers me because I've made a strong effort to improve my grades since deciding to pursue residency. I shot myself in the foot hardcore as an undergrad with poor grades and limiting my choices of matriculation and I want to be as strong an applicant for these next applications as possible. I don't want to force my husband to uproot and all that jazz - I want to have a choice. Am I going to be a worse vet than my classmates who aren't doing as well as I am, just because I have better grades? I don't think so, just like I don't think they'll be worse vets because they got "just" passing grades, which they worked hard for, too.
I understand where you are coming from too. And that is fine, good for you to strive to get A's; I just can't do it, for a few reasons: 1. I suck at exams 2. UK schools don't give out A's. I am stuck with C's and B's and those are difficult enough for me, personally.

I honestly could care less what grades people get, what is annoying, and what the OP is saying, is those who go around flaunting their A's or implying that people who get less than such won't make good vets.

I don't think anyone that is saying "just want to be a good vet, not get straight A's" is suggesting that those that do get A's won't make good vets. They are just saying that they aren't looking to get good grades themselves is all.
 

LetItSnow

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I didn't say that if you're not getting good grades that you won't be a good vet or don't deserve to be in vet school. I said that I want a vet who cares about doing well in vet school.
No, you really did say it.

Call me crazy, but I don't want to hear from my vet that they didn't seem to care much about getting good grades in vet school.
I'm not nitpicking to nitpick; those really are very, very different things. If you meant the former - cool. Great.

Bottom line; I think you were being judgmental. Maybe unintentionally, but nevertheless..... You're implying that my decision to work two full shifts a week in ICU and give up two nights of study time means I somehow "don't care" (because believe me, that 16 hours definitely impacts my grades). Or that because I miss a few classes every year in January to go to a conference (which also impacts my grades), I "don't care." Or that my commitment to being at our free clinic every first Sunday of the month - when most of my classmates are ducking it if we have a test the next day - means I "don't care." Or that because I'm pretty happy learning only enough about cows to pass NAVLE I "don't care." (Actually... you got me on that one. I really don't care about cows. At all.)
 
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Thanks for quoting me, and for making my point. I did NOT say that not getting good grades means you won't be good vet; you're inferring that because I said I want my vet to have cared about their grades.

Obviously you have made decisions about where/how you use your time. We all do. The fact that you are conscious that your choices mean that you have less study time indicates that you do care about the outcome.

If people honestly didn't care about their grades, I suspect that this wouldn't have caused so much offense.
 

LetItSnow

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Thanks for quoting me, and for making my point. I did NOT say that not getting good grades means you won't be good vet; you're inferring that because I said I want my vet to have cared about their grades.
I see. So.... if that wasn't the correct interpretation of that comment.... what was? What ELSE could you have meant by "I don't want to hear from my vet that they didn't seem to care much about getting good grades"?

Go ahead. I'm all ears.
 

DVMDream

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Thanks for quoting me, and for making my point. I did NOT say that not getting good grades means you won't be good vet; you're inferring that because I said I want my vet to have cared about their grades.

Obviously you have made decisions about where/how you use your time. We all do. The fact that you are conscious that your choices mean that you have less study time indicates that you do care about the outcome.

If people honestly didn't care about their grades, I suspect that this wouldn't have caused so much offense.
Again, you are still equating that caring about getting good grades is something you want in a vet. I do NOT care if I get a good grade.... flat out, I am stating that. I care if I pass and I care if I understand the material and if that gets me something more than a C great, if not then, no big deal.

If you care about the fact that I do not care about my grade and instead cared about actually learning information and making sure I understand the medicine I am being taught, then I don't want you as a client, good riddance. If my attitude towards an arbitrary grade in vet school is all that you are worried about in your vet, then you are obviously missing the important things that make up a good vet.

Another thing, a C is a good grade, so by caring about passing one is caring about getting a good grade.

Again, I would like you to tell me exactly how many vets you have asked, "Did you care about getting good grades in vet school?"
 
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This is ridiculous. If you don't care, then don't. It has come up in conversations with vets I know, because we have had frank discussions about vet school expectations.

Don't worry, you will never have to worry about having me as a client.
 

Minnerbelle

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I don't think anyone that is saying "just want to be a good vet, not get straight A's" is suggesting that those that do get A's won't make good vets. They are just saying that they aren't looking to get good grades themselves is all.
I have to say though, maybe it wasn't you, but there have been many conversations in the past where it's been insinuated that those who get As won't make as good vets because:
1.) They spend all their time studying minutia, and don't know how to apply it.
2.) They are the brainies with no life experience/people skills
3.) Are so busy studying that they are behind on their clinical/technical skills

Though it tends to be said more in the manner of "I might not be at the top of my class, but come clinics, I'm going to do fabulous compared to these gunners because X,Y,Z"
 

SV88

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This is ridiculous. If you don't care, then don't. It has come up in conversations with vets I know, because we have had frank discussions about vet school expectations.

Don't worry, you will never have to worry about having me as a client.
I would have to hope it's vets you know/have worked with and spoken with regarding vet school vs a vet that you interact with solely as a client/doctor relationship. I've seen vets on the client side and I've asked for different ones for various reasons, mostly treatment discrepancies and whatnot, but never have I asked "So, Dr ____. I need to know what you cared about in vet school, solely grades or absorbing relevant material? Also where in your class did you graduate, and why you chose to not pursue a residency with X ranking?"
 
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Am I going to be a worse vet than my classmates who aren't doing as well as I am, just because I have better grades? I don't think so, just like I don't think they'll be worse vets because they got "just" passing grades, which they worked hard for, too.
I don't think anyone was saying that you are going to be a worse vet for getting good grades. I think the point that many of us are trying to make is that getting all A's does not a good vet make.
 
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DVMDream

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I have to say though, maybe it wasn't you, but there have been many conversations in the past where it's been insinuated that those who get As won't make as good vets because:
1.) They spend all their time studying minutia, and don't know how to apply it.
2.) They are the brainies with no life experience/people skills
3.) Are so busy studying that they are behind on their clinical/technical skills

Though it tends to be said more in the manner of "I might not be at the top of my class, but come clinics, I'm going to do fabulous compared to these gunners because X,Y,Z"
Yeah, I have definitely heard this before; I may even be slightly guilty of it when I am frustrated of hearing from so and so about how horrible it is that they were only 2 points away from an A while I am staring down my C, again, despite putting in the same amount of effort. I mostly say it for those who really don't have the good communication skills or those who are flaunting their great grades around, you get this sense that you hope some clinician will sucker punch them in the stomach once they are in clinics, after they did it to you so many times throughout all the classes.

Those who quietly get A's and aren't flaunting it around and making you feel like an inferior idiot; I have no qualms at all, I wish them the very best and I applaud them for being able to obtain those grades.

It is just the obnoxious gunners who makes me feel like **** that I silently hope they fall on their face in clinics, just to experience how they have made me feel throughout classes all those years.
 
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BlackDog17

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I would have to hope it's vets you know/have worked with and spoken with regarding vet school vs a vet that you interact with solely as a client/doctor relationship. I've seen vets on the client side and I've asked for different ones for various reasons, mostly treatment discrepancies and whatnot, but never have I asked "So, Dr ____. I need to know what you cared about in vet school, solely grades or absorbing relevant material? Also where in your class did you graduate, and why you chose to not pursue a residency with X ranking?"
Don't you know you're supposed to get official transcripts from your vet before allowing them to touch your pets?! You must be a terrible pet owner! :laugh:
 

Escalla

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Don't you know you're supposed to get official transcripts from your vet before allowing them to touch your pets?! You must be a terrible pet owner! :laugh:
Someone please try this and report back. Oh and make sure you have a pen camera or something of the sort.
 
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LetItSnow

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Someone please try this and report back. Oh and make sure you have a pen camera or something of the sort.
This has Candid Camera Vet Style written all over it. "Hey Doc, Mr. Twinkles only goes to vets who graduated in the top 25th percentile of their class. Can you document your attention to grades during vet school, please?"
 
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dyachei

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This has Candid Camera Vet Style written all over it. "Hey Doc, Mr. Twinkles only goes to vets who graduated in the top 25th percentile of their class. Can you document your attention to grades during vet school, please?"
I was told by a client I must have been in the top ten percent in my class. And that the other vet she saw definitely wasn't. I just smiled, nodded, and backed away slowly
 

pinkpuppy9

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So I'm going to jump in an ask a purely informational question here. What is it about vet school that two people can put in massive amounts of studying for the same exam, but one walks away with a C and the other an A? I'm curious to hear everyone's interpretations of the situation. I'm coming from the POV that if I get a C, I didn't study hard enough (Yep...just got a B-/C+ in a class. Emailed the prof and got "Well someone was able to get a 108%...."). I feel that is fairly ground into students from a very young age.

Is it that these are those sucky classes that you just didn't 'get,' or that (like mentioned earlier) questions are up for interpretation and some are better than others at doing so?

And I'm glad to hear others say that vet school is not going to produce vets who can treat difficult, challenging diseases or illnesses. The vet I currently work for has said numerous times that if I get in, I better make time to shadow at a local clinic to get more surgical and clinical experience past the basics.
 

dyachei

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So I'm going to jump in an ask a purely informational question here. What is it about vet school that two people can put in massive amounts of studying for the same exam, but one walks away with a C and the other an A? I'm curious to hear everyone's interpretations of the situation. I'm coming from the POV that if I get a C, I didn't study hard enough (Yep...just got a B-/C+ in a class. Emailed the prof and got "Well someone was able to get a 108%...."). I feel that is fairly ground into students from a very young age.

Is it that these are those sucky classes that you just didn't 'get,' or that (like mentioned earlier) questions are up for interpretation and some are better than others at doing so?

And I'm glad to hear others say that vet school is not going to produce vets who can treat difficult, challenging diseases or illnesses. The vet I currently work for has said numerous times that if I get in, I better make time to shadow at a local clinic to get more surgical and clinical experience past the basics.
So much information, so many tests, there literally isn't time to study it all completely. The material isn't hard. But I'd rather understand the concepts and be able to think through it than memorize details.
 

CanHardlyWait

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So I'm going to jump in an ask a purely informational question here. What is it about vet school that two people can put in massive amounts of studying for the same exam, but one walks away with a C and the other an A? I'm curious to hear everyone's interpretations of the situation. I'm coming from the POV that if I get a C, I didn't study hard enough (Yep...just got a B-/C+ in a class. Emailed the prof and got "Well someone was able to get a 108%...."). I feel that is fairly ground into students from a very young age.

Is it that these are those sucky classes that you just didn't 'get,' or that (like mentioned earlier) questions are up for interpretation and some are better than others at doing so?

And I'm glad to hear others say that vet school is not going to produce vets who can treat difficult, challenging diseases or illnesses. The vet I currently work for has said numerous times that if I get in, I better make time to shadow at a local clinic to get more surgical and clinical experience past the basics.
I'll use my recent experience with Pharmacology as an example. Here's some background: I've never had to be a super studyer, I'm a good memorizer. This applies to most of vet school, although the volume of material makes even just memorizing a very time consuming process. Honestly I only study primarily 2-3 days prior to test in most classes and I get quite reasonable grades, grades most people would be pretty happy about.

And then there was Pharm. We had weekly quizzes, 5 questions in 5 minutes at 8 am. I heard this was a possible fail out class, so I studied for those quizzes like exams-up to 3 hours a week, every week. For my efforts, I did well on some but mostly I barely passed them. By the time the midterm came around, I had studied all of the material once already and studied like I would for any exam. C-, class average a C. We have a notoriously gunner, high achieving class and the class average was a C. Fast forward to the cumulative final. Keep in mind I had still kept up my quiz study regiment. In addition I studied for (no exaggeration) 26 or so hours in 3 days for the final. I made drug charts and hung them on the walls to refer to, I outlined the notes, I looked up every drug I came to in my reading if I couldn't say out loud it's class and function. I was more prepared than for any other test I have ever taken. Failed the final. I had actually earned a C- in the class, it was curved to a C. This has been my only C in vet school so far and I'm ecstatic to have it. Our professor told us going into the final that a C in her class made us more than adequately prepared to use our knowledge in the clinics in our fourth year. It's basically the expected grade for most students in her class. Sure, some get a better grade, but I honestly don't know how. (Well, I know a little, I'm really bad at math and that hurt me in this class some).

Hopes this adds some perceptive to the discussion for those of you not yet in vet school.
 
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pinkpuppy9

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I think that's a good way of going through vet school. My boss told me that basically, 25 years in practice, she can't recall the biochemical details that allow a medication to work, but she knows what the meds treat and when they should be used.
 

DVMDream

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Pharmacology is probably the best example. You have to learn absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, mechanism of action, side effects, what the drug does/treats, the names of the drugs of each class; I want to say there are easily around 60+ drug classes and easily over 200 drug names. But that isn't the end, there are exceptions within each drug class of a specific drug that doesn't act quite the same way as the rest, so add that in too. It is easy to get overwhelmed and some people are going to be better at memorizing that stuff than others. Also keep in mind that this is only one class you take during that semester, you have to keep up on your other classes that are likely to also have a lot of information that is difficult to absorb and remember.
 

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This is ridiculous. If you don't care, then don't. It has come up in conversations with vets I know, because we have had frank discussions about vet school expectations.

Don't worry, you will never have to worry about having me as a client.
You will think I sound condescending... but so be it...

This conversation has been ongoing for a number of years.
People, before they have attended vet school (myself included) have a distorted view of the world of vet school and how it differs from what comes before....

You seem to have pretty strong opinions about something you haven't experienced.
After you have been through school a couple of years, or even better, are out practicing, see how your opinions evolve.

Vet school is unlike any other educational endeavor. It is not about learning, it is about surviving... whether you are lucky enough to "the type" that can does well with massive memorization or not. It does not separate the smart/not as smart, the hard workers/not as hard workers, the qualified/unqualified. It is a sad reality, but one you will see.

Almost no one gets into vet school unless they are pretty high achievers, but most find out that there is little learning, and a whole lot of BS here.

Try to stop arguing with ALL these people who have uniformly more experience than you do, and try to see where they are coming from, cause a lot of us sounded like you a few years ago.
 

dyachei

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You will think I sound condescending... but so be it...

This conversation has been ongoing for a number of years.
People, before they have attended vet school (myself included) have a distorted view of the world of vet school and how it differs from what comes before....

You seem to have pretty strong opinions about something you haven't experienced.
After you have been through school a couple of years, or even better, are out practicing, see how your opinions evolve.

Vet school is unlike any other educational endeavor. It is not about learning, it is about surviving... whether you are lucky enough to "the type" that can does well with massive memorization or not. It does not separate the smart/not as smart, the hard workers/not as hard workers, the qualified/unqualified. It is a sad reality, but one you will see.

Almost no one gets into vet school unless they are pretty high achievers, but most find out that there is little learning, and a whole lot of BS here.

Try to stop arguing with ALL these people who have uniformly more experience than you do, and try to see where they are coming from, cause a lot of us sounded like you a few years ago.
This.

I've been on these boards for nearly 7 years. I started on here right before I got into vet school. Every year I see the same arguments. Every year the new vet students start to "get it"
 

BlackDog17

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So I'm going to jump in an ask a purely informational question here. What is it about vet school that two people can put in massive amounts of studying for the same exam, but one walks away with a C and the other an A? I'm curious to hear everyone's interpretations of the situation. I'm coming from the POV that if I get a C, I didn't study hard enough (Yep...just got a B-/C+ in a class. Emailed the prof and got "Well someone was able to get a 108%...."). I feel that is fairly ground into students from a very young age.

Is it that these are those sucky classes that you just didn't 'get,' or that (like mentioned earlier) questions are up for interpretation and some are better than others at doing so?

And I'm glad to hear others say that vet school is not going to produce vets who can treat difficult, challenging diseases or illnesses. The vet I currently work for has said numerous times that if I get in, I better make time to shadow at a local clinic to get more surgical and clinical experience past the basics.
Keep in mind too that everyone has different backgrounds going into vet school. Your pre-reqs will all have been pretty similar but there will be a lot of variation on the other courses, especially the upper level sciences. I've taken anatomy twice before vet school - once in high school and once in college. We didn't go into anything near the same level of detail as vet school, but I was at least familiar with the basics like directional terms, certain muscles groups, major organs, etc. Some of my classmates have never taken anatomy before, so they're not familiar with any of the material. They're going to spend their 16 hours a day learning the basics, while I may be able to review the basics and then move on to the more detailed material, and get a better grade. On the other hand, I've never in my life taken a histology course while many of my classmates have taken that course, and some have even done some histology work in clinics. So even if we all spend exactly 16 hours a day studying histo, they're going to get better grades because they were already familiar with the material, while I'm just learning it all for the first time.

Similarly, as others have mentioned, everyone has different learning styles. Those who can memorize a mountain of minute details in a short amount of time will be able to remember more information in their 16 hours of study time than someone like me who has to go over the same material dozens of times before it will stick. On the flip side, I am a very hands-on learner. Show me how to do something once, talk me through it while I do it myself, and then I'll probably remember it forever. So when we get to Clinical Orientation this year, I'm hoping that I'll be a quick learner there. Someone who learns better from reading a textbook may not be. So again, even if we put in the same amount of time every day we could conceivably earn vastly different grades.

And then there's the fact that everyone has different interests. Only want to be a small animal vet? Too bad, you still have to learn about food animals in vet school. And chances are even if you study your butt off for that food animal exam, you're not necessarily going to receive as high a grade as someone who is interested in food animals and has actually worked on farms before.

And what about different learning environments? If student A has a family with young kids causing distractions, and student B lives alone, even though they both put in 16 hours a day student B is probably going to get more out of that study time and get a higher grade. Does that mean student A is going to be a bad vet? No. If student A deliberately takes time away from studying to spend with their family, knowing that they're likely to get a C instead of an A, does that make student A a bad vet? Absolutely not. To suggest that grades absolutely HAVE to be the number 1 priority and anyone who isn't shooting for A's isn't cut out to be a vet is just ignorant. People with that kind of mentality are in for a very rude awakening if they ever make it to vet school.

There is SO much more that goes into grades in vet school than just studying for X hours a day and putting the effort in. This isn't like undergrad where anyone can pass as long as they do the assigned readings, and anyone who fails was simply lazy. It's hard to understand until you actually are a vet student, but the sooner you can learn that getting C's is acceptable - even good in many cases - the easier things will go for you.
 

pinkpuppy9

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I wouldn't say an undergrad student is lazy if he/she fails a class. I'd say they got a different grade then someone who passed for all the reasons you stated. I used to think students who failed were lazy as well until my study buddy failed biochemistry. Same amount of studying as me, just didn't show on the tests. Interpret that as you will.

But I'm glad you all took the time to explain vet school to us hopefuls. The transition from undergrad to vet student sounds like it might be difficult for some. If you don't get an A, you feel lousy for months and lose all hope. Constant competition. In vet school, people jump for joy at a C (although there are definitely some undergrad classes where I can see a C as a great grade).

For those gunners, I'd be curious to know their backgrounds. Do they have a vet in the family that is breathing down their neck? Are they on a scholarship? Etc.
 

orca2011

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I wouldn't say an undergrad student is lazy if he/she fails a class. I'd say they got a different grade then someone who passed for all the reasons you stated. I used to think students who failed were lazy as well until my study buddy failed biochemistry. Same amount of studying as me, just didn't show on the tests. Interpret that as you will.

But I'm glad you all took the time to explain vet school to us hopefuls. The transition from undergrad to vet student sounds like it might be difficult for some. If you don't get an A, you feel lousy for months and lose all hope. Constant competition. In vet school, people jump for joy at a C (although there are definitely some undergrad classes where I can see a C as a great grade).

For those gunners, I'd be curious to know their backgrounds. Do they have a vet in the family that is breathing down their neck? Are they on a scholarship? Etc.
Just because you have a scholarship doesn't mean you need to flaunt your A's. I have no problem with those who have them (honestly wish I did well enough to get one) but keep that information to themselves. Family pressure also shouldn't cause you to become insensitive towards your classmates who might be struggling. Actually, I don't think there is any good reason for you to be insensitive towards others in your class. I failed my first anatomy exam and had a classmate get upset over not getting a point that I got when she had a high B/low A right in front of me. I might not have told her I failed, but I was basically on the verge of tears, so I would think that's a good enough hint.
 
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DVMDream

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Just because you have a scholarship doesn't mean you need to flaunt your A's. I have no problem with those who have them (honestly wish I did well enough to get one) but keep that information to themselves. Family pressure also shouldn't cause you to become insensitive towards your classmates who might be struggling. Actually, I don't think there is any good reason for you to be insensitive towards others in your class.
This x1,000. There is a girl in my class whose father is a vet and she walks around constantly talking about how much she knows and how her father has this or that and how awesome she is because her father is a vet. She also walks around passing judgement on the rest of the class about who deserves to be in vet school and who does not and which people are going to fail and which will make horrible vets. She also bitched out an examiner during one of the animal handling exams. This same person has also been sent to the disciplinary committee three times and is very much flirting with the line of being kicked out due to unprofessional conduct.