Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Die is Cast

Hello once again. As promised, I have returned to the world of blogging. As mentioned before, these past few months have drained me mentally, physically, and emotionally. When I last left off, I was on my orthopedic surgery block which was an interesting block, but the final week of it was rather hectic. Following that was my internal medicine block which was by far and away my most difficult one thus far. I clocked myself in at an average of 95 hours per week while on that service. After that, I had a drastic change of pace and spent three weeks working with horses and alpacas in the large animal hospital in the vet school. Next, I spent three weeks on the vet school's new small animal community practice service which is meant to simulate what real private practice is all about. Lastly, I spent three weeks working with the radiology service looking and evaluating radiographs (X-Rays), MRI's, ultrasounds, and CT scans.

I suppose the more important matter at hand involves the title of the post and what you are likely waiting to hear about......the infamous North American Veterinary Licensing Examination aka the "Boards" exam. Well....all I can really say to you about it is that it's done. I've heard from numerous veterinarians and classmates of mine that everyone feels like they've failed when they come out of the test and that they had many questions on the exam where they were unsure of the answer. If I hadn't heard those remarks from so many people, I would have come out of the 360-question ankle-grabbing haze-fest freaking out. However, I actually went into the exam unstressed and remained calm through the entire six hours. Even afterwards, I just said to myself, "Well....let's just see what happens....". I think this is mostly due in part to my use of the program on I used this website for about 90% of my preparation. Vetprep is a website with a few thousand practice exam questions and I got through every single one of them multiple times. My belief is that, while I'm unsure as to whether or not it prepared my knowledge base well enough, it most certainly prepared me emotionally. Once I started plowing through those questions, I didn't take a break until after the 240th question.

I've heard that many of the people who fail get an uneven distribution of questions related to a species where we all get little education, such as pigs or chickens. No two tests are the same, and each exam for each person has questions taken from a large pool to formulate their test. Overall, my species distribution was fair, but I received alot more equine questions than I anticpated. What really caught me off-guard, however, was how there were a number of business management and ethical questions on the exam. I can understand why there were some business questions on the test because there are a number of vet schools in the US that have extensive courses on the subject. My school unfortunately has a two-day course that really isn't worth much, to be entirely honest. The ethical questions really bugged me though since they were really subjective and could've had more than one right answer. Anywhos, I'll let you all know how I did sometime in January/February once I find out my results. Till then be prayin' for me....

In regards to my current rotation, I am back in my home state of MD working at a shelter/spay&neuter clinic getting some fantastic surgical experience. The people at the facility are very friendly and they have been supremely hospitable towards me. Its only been my second day there and I've already personally performed five surgeries, all spays and neuters. Tomorrow, however, I will get to perform my first ever enucleation....i.e. I'll be taking a cat's eye out. It, of course, will be under the supervision of a doctor and with consent. We believe the cat, which is a stray, got into a fight and took a shot to the eye. All that remains is an infected, disgusting husk of what was once an eye. In addition to that, I heard that next week I might get to do my first ever leg amputation.

Thank you all again for reading my blog and for your support. Since this rotation will probably be repetitive except for the aforementioned procedures, I will use these next couple weeks to tell some stories about the cases presented to me over the past few months. Some come with good endings, some with bad, but regardless, I look forward to telling them!


Tayaki said...

Great news to hear that you're all done with boards. I'm sure you did great. :) Thanks for continuing to maintain the blog, and I am really looking forward to future posts. Sigh, I can only hope that ALL (wink, wink) of my questions would be equine when the time comes.

Tayaki said...

ohhh...and i had to go annonymous, hence the name change. sorry!

The O said...

Ooooooh ok, took me a minute to figure out who you were :). If you do happen to get as many equine questions as I did, you'll do just fine. The questions were pretty broad and easily understood by one like myself with very little experience with horses. For example, I wasn't bogged down with trying to remember the common names of diseases like bog spavin, stringhalt, etc.