SAVMA Delegates are hard at work representing their schools at the House of Delegates meeting. Each delegate is assigned to a House committee that focuses on a particular area of importance facing veterinary students. Pictured above is the Integrative Communications and Diversity Committee planning a PR video campaign about SAVMA.
Blogging straight from the House of Delegates meeting here in San Diego, California at the 2012 AVMA Convention. Kicking off the day by catching up with old friends, and ready to meet some new. Lots of great discussion coming up, including issues like economics affecting veterinary students and talks about inclusion of the 2+2 veterinary school system into SAVMA. Feel free to stop in to the meetings in the Manchester Ballroom at the Hyatt hotel if you happen to be at the Convention and check out the amazing work the House of Delegates is doing for students.
Honorable Mention, Foot in Mouth Category
Courtney Deer, Mississippi State
Like most former sorority girls my camera never leaves my purse. I'm known for being the paparazzi at any and all events - the best and worst of times. My camera has also been instrumental in my veterinary learning experience. During anatomy I've always snapped pictures and made videos to include in my study guides. This summer I found out that I should probably have two separate flash drives for social life and school.
A few of my sisters and I went out to Happy Hour once we all returned home for summer break. We chatted away, snapped some pictures and swapped stories. One of my sisters asked to see my camera so she could look at what kind of fun things I'd done in veterinary school. She's one of my closest friends, but she'd been out of the country for the better part of the last year so we'd been unable to talk as much as we usually do. She flipped through the pictures, laughing at some of them, and then paused. Her face changed from a smile to a frown. She tilted the camera, gasped and threw it on the table. "PLEASE TELL ME THAT'S NOT WHAT I THINK IT IS!" I picked up the camera to look at the offending picture and immediately burst into laughter. The picture was of the genitals of a male horse, spread out over a table, with a probe pointing to various anatomical features. She knew it was my hand because of my usual manicure, which could be seen through the white latex gloves.
Another sister at the table quickly snatched the camera to see what the picture was. Before too long the entire table of my friends had seen it and were sharing in either laughter or disgust. Once I regained my composure I had to explain that as a veterinarian we have to know EVERYTHING about EVERY animal - even their unmentionables. They made me swear to get a new flash drive specifically for school, which is probably a good investment. In the wrong hands that picture would be impossible to explain!
Relationships: balancing our interpersonal relationships in veterinary school can be a demanding but rewarding and essential undertaking. How do you meet new friends or significant others while in vet school, or how do you make quality time available to the special ones you already have?
Honorable Mention, Life as a Vet Student Category
Oneal Peters, Colorado State University
It’s 2:30 am. I sit in the equine medicine rounds room, listening to angry sparrows complain about being stuck in the barn in the middle of the night, most likely separated from their fellow sparrows (well, at least I assume that’s what all the racket is about) and I wonder if all my family is snuggled up in their beds, fast asleep or if any of them are awake at this hour (perhaps my brother, who tends to function best in the wee hours of the morning). Vet school certainly changes your routine, and not only is it a huge adjustment for the student but life begins to change quite a bit for those around them.
When I began vet school, I had been married for two years and my family was only four hours away. I entered vet school with a substantial support system and I didn’t have to worry about meeting Mr. Right (or any Mr. for that matter), but maintaining the relationships I already had was something that came with a learning curve. Luckily, I have a very understanding family and husband, and if they don’t see or hear from me for weeks, they understand and don’t take it personally. And while it’s lovely to have people who are so benevolent with their empathy, I soon realized that it benefited my own persona to find a way to balance vet school with real life, because while my family seemed to function pretty well without me, I wasn’t able to function very well without them. So I began to tier my priorities. Yes, school is undoubtedly important, but not so important that you become a hermit, emerging from your vet school cave after four long years to realize you lost all your friends and family because you had vet school tunnel vision. I often felt like there were not enough hours in the day to fit in all the things that were important: studying, sleeping, spending time with hubby and dogs, visiting family, exercising…the list goes on and on, but then I realized it was all a matter of schedule. The concept of putting your life on a schedule seems a bit neurotic, yes, I know, but when I became a vet student, this was the only way to keep my sanity. So it began. I used my giant white board from Target to schedule each week. I titled it “weekly goals” so that I didn’t feel terrible if not all my tasks were completed. I broke my days into blocks. Study blocks. Walk the dog blocks. Free time blocks. And then the hard part came along - trying to stick to the schedule. It took a bit of adjustment and a strong dose of discipline, but over time I became accustomed to my schedule and life became more manageable. If I followed my blocks, I would feel more satisfied about the amount of studying I did because I had quantifiable times spent studying, and so free time was guilt free.