Rate My Electives!! (2nd Year Fall)

Hey guys!  Surprisingly, I got an enormous load of feedback from this semester’s electives period!! So, I had to create a separate post just for “Rate My Electives”.  My classmate’s are amazing individuals who took the time to help out future vet students for the selection process for electives.  Thank you Class of 2016!!  Okay, remember from last semester, 1 means “NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!!!” and 5 means “Highly recommend it!!”

 

Avian and Reptile

 Honest Feedback  Rating
Reptile portion was great! Love Dr. Divers! His portion involved a test (closed notes) and a project, both of which were graded very fairly. Avian portion was not very clear in terms of expectations. The test for this portion of the class was open notes but the questions were completely random and many were not discussed in class. There was not nearly enough time and no amount of studying could prepare you. 3
The reptile portion was great- Dr. Divers does not assume a prior knowledge base of reptiles and is very clear in his lectures. Dr. Mayer’s portion was terrible. He was random in his lectures and honestly I walked about feeling like I knew no more about birds than when I started. His test was ridiculous and there was no way to prepare. If you are taking it for the reptile portion, do it! If you are just taking it for the birds, don’t waste your time 2.5
Don’t take this class unless you are an expert in avian 1
Reptile: Divers is a great lecturer and the test was hard but fair. Entertaining and informative. Avian: disorganized, decent lecturer but test was ridiculous. if you don’t have a pet bird it’s really hard 5 for Reptile and 2 for Avian
Divers and Mayer are my two favorite lecturers. Take this class. 5
The reptile portion had exam as well as group projects. If you don’t like group projects, I wouldn’t reccommend the class. The avian part was entertaining, but he tried to give us a lot of details, which for those who don’t know basic bird stuff was challenging. 3
Worth taking if you are intrested in owning or treating reptiles or birds. If you are looking for an A, you better be an expert. The Divers portion was well organized, educational, and fairly tested. The case report was annoying, but actually really helpful. But, the avian section was confusing, unorganized, and extremely poorly tested. Should you take it? Eh, its a gamble. I enjoyed half of it. 4 for Reptile. 1 for avian.

Cat Behavior

Teacher was not there due to illness, which means we were ill-informed on what to expect on the exam. Since this exam was before the Dog Behavior final, we were shocked to see material from the core Behavior class when she never warned us of this. Very frustrating experience. 2 out of 5
Agree with the above. Was not sympathetic towards students having to learn on our own nor towards making sure the format of the exam was shared. Also shower no empathy towards those whose grades were lowered due to core questions being included 2of5
I think it would be a good class for the future. It is supposed to be very interactive, giving your own animals as behavior cases to go through. I think this would be a very good class, if the teacher were there. 4
I can’t really judge the teaching since Dr. Crowell-Davis was ill, but I didn’t think the subject matter was particularly great either. It was pretty similar to the core behavior course in that a lot of the information is either common sense or sort of useless trivia. I thought the exam was poorly written and focused on some of the most trivial, memorizable information in the notes, as opposed to major concepts. If you’re looking for a class that really makes you think, look elsewhere. 2
Yikes! 1
This class was very frustrating. The only reason I took it was to boost my hours up to the required amount, and now I wish I had taken something else. Behavior is a waste of time anyway. 1
Yes, the instructor was ill but still awful. crappy test and didn’t learn anything new 1
As long as you know that the final is review from core, this class was ok. We went into a little bit more depth on some of the cat specific problems. If you like cats and don’t mind reviewing, why not. 3
The information was interesting. But the final focused on core material, which was not discussed with us at any point. That being said, I’d take it if you like cats! Just learn the core material. 4

Clinical Techniques in LA

If you are a slow test-taker like me, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! The final was ridiculously long; you had 3 thick packets each from a professor, and there were at least 70 questions total fill-in-the-blank and short answer! Painful… Before the final, we asked the professors what to expect on the exam, and they were very ambiguous saying they weren’t sure yet (not helpful). Do not take this class if you are not in lab. Lab was FANTASTIC though, but there is only a few spots. I advise auditting this class. 1/5 for lecture 5/5 for lab
Worse than taking large animal anatomy. Harts portion was easy and fun to learn. She presented topics in easy to learn formats and then worked through cases to help with understanding. Epstein just throws as much jnformation as possible towards you with no directionality on major points or topics. While midterm is fair the final was worse than anatomy exams and required extensive review of nerve blocks, surgery techniques etc that is just too much for an electI’ve time frame unless its one of the only classes you take. Not an enjoyable class I feel except for Dr. Harts portion. 1of5
I was lucky enough to take LA Clinical Anatomy with Dookwah last year and even with that extra information, this class still was pointless memorization of insane amounts of material. Epstein throws a crap ton of information that she herself has not done, and expects students to reguritate precisely. I’m sorry, but when a student poses a question concerning a procedure, stating “The textbook I found it in said it is done this way” is not TEACHING! I was not in the lab and I feel the lab and the handouts they received, would have aided those in only the lecture portion. A lot of the focus was equine (90% on the final) and I signed up for this class because it said it would be LA of CATTLE, SMALL RUMINANTS, AND horses NOT solely horses. This class is by no means an easy B so STAY AWAY from it. 1of5
Hated every minute of it. 1of5
A lot of memorizing, I was not in the lab, but I think that would have made it worth while 2
I reiterate what everyone has said before me. I learned absolutely nothing during lecture. I didn’t sign up for an equine techniques or lameness class and this is pretty much what I got. Disappointed. 1/5 class 5/5 lab
I have a different learning style than a lot of people, but this was one of my favorite electives. I agree that Epsteins lectures did kind of just pummel you with information, but overall I think that information is going to be pretty useful in clinics. I don’t really know what else they could teach us in a class focused on “techniques”. There is a lot of information about nerve blocks, surgical procedures, and diagnostic workups for various systems. I feel like I would be a lot more comfortable doing a workup after taking this class. I also thought that the final was GREAT. I get really sick of multiple choice tests that focus on unimportant minutia. While this test was very long, it was almost all short answer/fill-in-the-blank, and required us to have a real grasp of the procedures we were describing. It actually required me to problem solve and think during the test…something I don’t have to do on a lot of our exams. It is definitely important to know your anatomy though, especially to Epstein. Lab was also wonderful and graded pass/fail, so there’s no pressure. 4 lecture, 5 lab
If you want any hope of a career in large animal/equine medicine, you better get your butt in this class. It is AMAZING. Especially the lab. Don’t be scared of the tests– if you go to class and pay attention, you will do well. With a little bit of effort you can make a solid B. And then the rest is just– show up!! Epstein’s lectures can be a little bit dry but her labs were amazing. Dr. Eggleston’s lameness stuff was probably the most informative lameness lectures we’ve had thus far (as an equine person– you will love it). And Dr. Hart is of course always fantastic. I HIGHLY recommend this for everyone large animal/equine. Don’t even think about not taking it. 5 lecture/ 5 lab
Seriously, the BEST class I have ever had. Yes, this class was about mostly horses and cows, but everything was based on stuff you are guaranteed to see! None of the information was “useless.” Everything was clinic based, actual, real-world stuff, not random info to remember for boards. Eggleston’s lectures were great, I really enjoyed his teaching style. Epstein’s did have a lot of information, but it was nerve blocks and surgery anatomy…there’s a lot of info there. Hart was wonderful as always. Each professor really worked on teaching efficient problem solving, why you do what you do kinda stuff. Labs were incredible, each one was better than the last. Lots of opportunities to get your hands dirty. I am probably the minority, but the exam was the best one I have ever taken. It was representative of the ENTIRE course, not only parts/sections of random detailed information. Yes, it was long, but definitely fair. 5 lecture/5+100 for lab!

Dermatology

Fairly similar to core class. Hensels material and style varies from Zabel and final was written by Zabel after Hensel had taught the majority of it. Zabels style of case presentation with minor background and lists of disease can be frustrating. Also included some cases not covered on final. Overall similar to core with less focus on lesions and more focus on diseases of different species (pocket pets, horse, llama) I prefer hensels teaching over Zabel but doubt he will be teaching next semester. 3of5
Very similar to core. More focus on cases for Zabel’s part. Worth taking. 3
Covers SA and LA, which I am not sure is noted in the course description. If you want to be in general practice a good course to take since derm is such a big part of animal diseases 4
Without hensel, I don’t know if I would take it again 2
Pass for sure if you are not SA. Possible pass if you are SA 2
liked that it covered large animals and exotics but i wouldnt recommend it 3
It’s very easy to tell the intructors were running out of topics to talk about. Which means you don’t need to know the info for board exam. but occasionally useful info for practice 3
I liked the class for the subject matter. It was very relevant to general practice I think. Definitely focused on the small animals. 4

Dog Behavior

Teacher was not there due to illness, which means we were ill-informed on what to expect on the exam. Fortunately, Cat Behavior came first so that we were warned, but it was only the day before the exam to review all of old core Behavior class material. Hopefully, she will warn you all in the beginning of the electives period next time. 2 out of 5
I enjoyed the few lectures we had with the teacher. As long as the teacher does not have more surgery I would recommend this class 4
Teacher was not there, so it’s really not possible to rate this fairly. All of exam questions come from core material. If you didn’t like animal behavior core, you won’t like this either. But if you liked it, take this class 3
Very similar to cat behavior: I can’t really judge the teaching since Dr. Crowell-Davis was ill, but I didn’t think the subject matter was particularly great either. It was pretty similar to the core behavior course in that a lot of the information is either common sense or sort of useless trivia. I thought the exam was poorly written and focused on some of the most trivial, memorizable information in the notes, as opposed to major concepts. If you’re looking for a class that really makes you think, look elsewhere. 2
There are many things in behavior that are useful, but for the most part it just isn’t practical. If I could go back, I would not take this class. The only reason I took it in the first place was to take over 4 hours of electives. 1
I really liked dog behavior, I just wish she were there to actually teach us 4
Behavior is important regardless of what species you work with. But this class is close to useless. If it was taught different I would love to take it. 1
I thought the class could probably be condensed in how it was taught, but I still thought it was worthwhile if you are interested in dog behavior traits like interdog aggression and storm phobias. The final is cumulative with the core class. 4

Emergency Preparedness

I was very disappointed with this class. I was initially excited to take it, but the lectures were extreeeeemely boring. There were no tests which was nice, so it was an easy A. The class was disorganized and the expectations, especially for the group assignments, were unclear and confusing. The only thing I liked was the labs. 2
Not a great class, but an easy A. 1
I have a background in this information so it was interesting for me. However, the lecture structure was not great, and was often boring. No test though! 3
This class is obviously in its infancy (only the 2nd year offered). However, some interesting things were taught, especially in the lab, and hopefully the class will improve over time 2.5
There are a LOT of kinks that need to be worked out. The interview was cool, but I think that’s only because my group got a really good one. The lab was also fun. If they can get the problems worked out it will be a really good class. It’s nice to not have any tests too — a much needed break! All you have to do is show up. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time but I mean come on…ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SHOW UP. Literally. 3
Horribly boring. I only enjoyed ONE of the lectures.The labs were okay. Easy A as long as you don’t mind being bored to death. 3

Food Animal

7-9am class MWF with 3 morning labs, so if you’re not a morning person, better get a strong cup of coffee. Reeves’ teaches the first half, so if he’s bad voodoo for you, be prepared. It is REQUIRED for ALL the food animal rotations senior year, FYI. The second test is Dairy and Beef, that was a hell of a lot better presented than Reeves’ Swine. All of Palamares questions were BS and wanted exact pecentatages for insemination sucess with various AI programs. He didn’t touch on the important things like Trich in cattle. They will be more specific that you think. 3 of 5
Unless you are required to I would not take this class. They test you on pointless random facts, and it is at 7am. 1
I highly recommend this class. Yes it is a 7am boohoo you’ll be getting up much earlier than this once you’re in the real world. Time to grow up. I thought that we were tested over relevant information and they told us what we needed to know. It is REQUIRED for Food Animal rotations. The labs are also good to because it gets you out of the classroom. 5
7 am class…not the most ideal time. But not a waste of time. The tests were a little tricksy but I think it’s because I didn’t put in enough time to study, not because they were trying to trick us. The labs were pretty fun, at least you get out and see live animals! And who doesn’t love story time with Reeves?! As the person before me said, it’s required for food animal rotations. As an equine person, it was a much better alternative than some of the other electives. Most days it was actually pretty fun! 4
Absolutely effing hated this class. I was so excited for food animal, but after this class I want NOTHING to do with it. Reeves is HORRIBLE-how he is still teaching is beyond me?? Very disorganized. If you take this, order coveralls because they don’t tell you that you need them until 2 days before the first lab. The labs are anything but hands on. You stare at the animals and their envioronment/food/etc. I feel like this class could be fun and hands on, but it is anything but. 0.5
I really didn’t feel that I got what I wanted out of this class. the 7am thing wasn’t the problem either. i didn’t feel that the exams were representative of the course. I also felt that I needed an Intro to this class. I don’t have much background in food animal, so I wanted to learn more. I still felt like the material was over my head. If you have a background in FA, it is a great class. If not, don’t take it to get more experience b/c you won’t. It is required for FA rotations, so just keep that in mind. 1

Lab Animal

I really enjoyed this class. You learn about several exotic/small animal species that you don’t learn a lot about in core. Dr. Alworth is also quite nice and very fair with her testing. This is a good class if you’re interested in public health/small animal. Large animal people might not like it so much. 5of5
Easy A. Some good lectures from lab animal veterinarians at other institutions 4
It doesn’t matter if you want to do lab animal medicine. you will get great information and useful information no matter what aspect of vet med you end up in 5
Fun, laid back, easy class. Enjoyable and educational. Also, you can get out of it as much as you put in. Pre-req (I believe) for the lab, which I hear is very hands on. 4

Problems in LA

My emphasis is small animal, but this is probably the best elective I have taken so far. You work through cases in small groups (4-5) with the professor. To get the most from this class you will need to put in a fair amount of self-guided work– looking up normal values, trying to find the most appropriate treatment options, etc. (The type of stuff you will be doing in practice). Two group papers are due each week, so this is not an easy A, however it is definitely possible to get an A. 5
LOVED THIS CLASS!!!!! Take it if you can get in. In years past, it was an easier A, but they are making the grading of the paper far more critical. I learned so much in the course and it is emphasized for LA folks. You’re acting as a clinician in sense and you are having to apply information that has been learned and what you need to learn. Let’s face it, none of us have ever treated an Alpaca, but one case we had to act like we were. You do not get to pick your group (4-5 folks) and each week 1 person bears the brunt of the weight. Make sure that everyone is contributing and follow up with the group leader to make sure everything is going well. 5 of 5
Very fun class!! Just be prepared for a lot of research out of class and writing papers every weekend. We had a group of 4 and had 2 people work together on each paper a week (there are 2 papers to write every week) and this really helped in one person not having to do everything over the weekend. 4
Fantastic class! 5
Amazing class. You are only in a group of 4-5 people with a faculty facilitator. That being said, it could depend on who you get as your facilitator as to how you enjoy the class. I think I learned the most from this class than probably any other class I have taken so far. 5
Great class. Really teaches you how to think like a clinician, which is a weak point in a lot of classes. Our group thought it would be difficult to write papers collectively, so we broke it up so each person wrote one of the 5 papers (though I don’t think this is really the way you’re supposed to do it). I thought that worked well though and made it easy for everyone to contribute equally. Grades are based on the papers as well as anonymous evaluations from your group members. Hard work, but useful!!! 5
THE BEST CLASS I HAVE EVER TAKEN. Def take this class whether you are large or small animal 5
Awesome class……take it hands down.  There is a lot of preparation for it. But it is worth it!
TAKE THIS CLASS NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE. Yes you have to write a lot..but there are 5 people per group, so if you split it up and act like adults and everyone does their share, it’s not that bad. I learned so much in this class it’s hard to even describe. You basically get to play doctor and make decisions and look up stuff you don’t know. It’s so helpful to learn how to write a discharge because that’ s a lot of what we will be doing during clinics. TAKE THIS CLASS. 5
Great class! Really makes you feel like you can actually function as a vet one day. Yes, looking up papers is a pain, but I really learned more in the few weeks of this class than I did in an entire semester. 5

SA Advanced Parasitology

Professors are great and very patient with you. A very laid-back class compared to the core Parasitology class. You learn a lot about the clinical awareness of parasites and about what different products do in order to destroy these menacing vermin 🙂 Loved it! 5 out of 5
Much more laid back than core. Comprised grading of 5 minute group presentation, egg identification quiz (minor/easy) and a mock client oral communication on a given topic that you can prepare for. Exactly the type of elective you need to lower your stress after core. 5of5
Very helpful. Focuses on what you really need to know from parasitology. Teachers are great and very fair. 5
Great to be able to apply what you just learned in parasitology core class. Focus of this class is more communication and whaat you need to know for practice. 5
Jz Best elective I took. Very helpful and useful. 5
Did a good job building on the core material with in-depth discussions of things like preventative products, heartworm treatment, and inventory management. I thought the lecture topics were kind of random sometimes, but all useful. The oral final exam seems intimidating but was actually not bad at all. It’s just a discussion of a specific topic with a pretend client (actually a 3rd year), and as long as you hit the major parasitology points and use the communication techniques you will do well. 4
SA people: Take it! Enought said
P.s. Kill all the babies!
5
I didnt think this class was useful at all. moorhead is entertaining but we didnt learn anything. 1
You won’t learn anything new. 2
Class is focused on preventatives and common parasites, and is thus very applicable to actual clinical practice. I actually didn’t enjoy the core parasitology very much, and I’m still glad i took this class. 5
I like the focus on preventatives from this class. It was a review, but if you are going to practice with dogs and cats, very useful. People want a vets opinions on preventatives. 5
Favorite class yet! It was the most useful to me, because it was applying material we learned in core and combing it with communications (which we will have to do in the real world). I wish every class was like this. 5

SA Dentistry

Learned so much! Lab was one of the best lab experiences here at vet school so far. You got to use a lot of the equipment and tools for doing several teeth extractions! Final was straight-forward but nothing to play around with. 4 out of 5
Loved the labs. The information is very applicable and important. This really should be a core class. However, they definitely cover more material than they should for only a one hour credit. All the lectures are very fast pace. 5
I would highly reccomend this class if you are able to get in. Extraction lab was awesome! 5
take this class if you can, the lab experiences are worth it and the professors are good 5
Great lab, just wish there was more hands on stuff! Recommend it 5
Great class, they throw a lot of material at you in only 6 lectures and two labs, but would recommend 5
Great class and fun labs; definitely take if you can get a spot! 5
This class wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I thought it was only okay. I do think Dentistry should be a core course, so I don’t think they had enough time to teach us everything we needed to learn. Lectures were fast-paced but fun. Lab was also good, but I wish there were more of them. We did learn a lot about extractions, but they didn’t show us how to do a basic dental cleaning in lab, and I kind of feel like that should come first. I thought the final was poorly written – it focused on memorizable minutia instead of big concepts, which seems useless to me. 3
this is a very impt class to take for practice 5
Labs are great. Final exam is all useless minute details but the knowledge from basics is essential for general practice 4
The lectures are solid and based largely on clinical practice. This is by far the best lab I’ve had in vet school. It would be worth taking the class just for that. 5
I wish that there were more labs, but the material itself is a nice beginning to dentistry. 4
An okay class. Don’t expect an answer from Dr. Roth if you email him-if he does answer he is extremely rude and acts like it is tedious to have to answer emails. Dr. Nemetz was fantastic though! 3.5

Special Topics in Public Health

This is basically a journal club. If you’ve never had exposure to peer-reviewed research and would like to become more comfortable with it, this class is for you. It’s fairly easy, no tests, just a paper presentation with your group. The only downside is that when I took it, it was from 5-6 in the afternoon. 3.5of5
I thought this was a fantastic class. I started it with absolutely 0 knowledge of how to look at literature and glean useful points from papers, and now I feel like an expert. Definitely worth taking. 5

Hope this helps!

Through Him,

~Camille

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
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