Saturday, April 3, 2010

6 weeks till junior year

Can you believe it?

Five more weeks of class and one week of finals, and I will officially be a vet school junior, i.e. halfway through vet school.

Yikes. That's a little scary!

The last two years have been really intense. I can't believe how much I've learned. Occasionally we'll be talking about something and I think to myself, "Two years ago I knew nothing about that. WOW!"

At the same time, I don't feel quite ready to be a junior yet...

It's gotten to be a comfortable routine: sitting in a classroom all day, occasional labs and recitations, general anonymity with the professors. Sort of nice.

Next year, though, I'll spend every morning dealing with actual, live patients, clinicians, and clients. I'll have to be able to extract the last 2 years' worth of information from that deep, deep corner of my mind and apply it to real-life situations. I'll be put on the spot and probably end up feeling like an idiot quite often.

But I'm also ready to get off my butt. Sophomore year, especially, has been a bit excruciating in that regard. Will I be sorry to have 30 hours a week sitting in the same chair in the same lecture hall put behind me? Nope.

I can't believe that two years from now, I will have (hopefully) passed the NAVLE, will have only 4 or so more weeks of clinical rotations left as a senior, will ideally have secured a job for after graduation, and will be merely a month from being an actual real live veterinarian. That is really a daunting thought. I feel like I could spend 5 more years in vet school and still not feel ready.

My upcoming tasks in preparation for junior year are:

1. Prioritize my junior practicum selections (i.e. which rotations I want to take).

2. Order some books.

Elsevier, one of the main publishers of veterinary textbooks, has a sale every spring in which they permit vet students to order their textbooks for 20% off, before the prices increase in May. That basically means that any textbooks I want for next year, I'd be wise to purchase now.

So, gasp, I'm contemplating ordering 6 textbooks that will cost me almost $700.

Yeeeshh... I haven't spent that much on texts all at once since I ordered all of my freshman year textbooks two summers ago (I think that was over $1K).

But as CLH says: that's what loans are for!

I've talked to junior students and been on VIN to see what recent graduates recommend, and here's what I want:

* Internal medicine book: currently deciding between Ettinger ($223.20) and Nelson & Couto ($147.20); leaning toward N&C because it sounds more accessible

* Thrall's radiology text: $94.40

* Surgery book: deciding between Slatter ($192) and Fossum ($174.40); leaning toward Fossum seems to be the recommended choice if you don't want to be a specialty surgeon

* Parasitology text: $65.56 (a book I used in the cubes last year during parasitology and which seemed to be really applicable for clinics and as a real-world reference guide)

* Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice: $138.40; listed as an "essential" resource by most vets I heard from

* Plunkett's Emergency Procedures: $69.56

Why do textbooks cost so much??? This is even including the 20% off!

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