Second year was the start of our first medicine classes, which make you really feel like the things you\’re learning are fully relevant, not just book topics you may never need again. This does make them more difficult because we were expected to actually interpret things like blood work and clinical histories (which took me literally so long to do in the beginning), but it is so rewarding when you start to be able to put the pieces together.
This year was also the start of our live surgery labs. This was both exciting and intimidating. In groups of three, we rotated through the roles of primary surgeon, assistant, and anesthetist. I was anesthetist first and with little to no experience in monitoring anesthesia this was a struggle for me. Thankfully by the end of winter quarter, with the help of great professors and friends, being anesthetist actually became enjoyable! You really do learn a lot and improve as you gain more experience.
Aside from being anesthetist I also performed my very first ever live surgery. This was a huge moment for me and I felt so accomplished afterwards. It was a canine pre-scrotal neuter and definitely not the cat neuter I was hoping to start with haha. But in the end I was able to successfully perform that surgery, and 2 others as primary surgeon throughout the year. With classes moved online in the spring our labs were cut short so we will hopefully continue surgery labs in the fall. Regardless of when the surgeries get back into the schedule I am looking forward to continuing to improve my skills.
Overall, this year was hard. There\’s no way to sugar coat it; pharmacology took up so much time and completely changed the way I had to study, surgery labs made me cry and stay up late trying to perfect strangle knots and intradermal sutures, the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to figure out how to study for completely online lectures at home, and it was just a really weird time in the world for the entirety of spring quarter. Even with all of that, this quarter has made me a more confident student and I am so glad to have gotten through it. I know now so much more than I did last May and actually feel like I am starting to have clinical knowledge. It\’s wild to be halfway through school now, and I can\’t wait for the next half! Two more quarters to go, then next March I will start my clinical rotations. Thanks for tagging along!