End of 1st year!

Week’s Itinerary“Rate My Electives”

What a year!  I believe all of us should ask this simple question after completing our first year here, “Do I still want to be a vet?”  Some people may say they don’t really have a choice  now, but my answer is YES without any hesitation.  This 1st year will teach you so many fundamentals regarding this career, and it will also equip you in being a  stronger person with regards to discipline, persistence, encouragement, teamwork, and so much more.  Please don’t be a selfish person here.  We all need to share our gifts and work together during this rigorous time.

I’m sure you all are dying to know how electives period turned out for me.  Guys, it was the most relaxing and stress-free experience here at the vet school.  I think it is because I only took 3 courses these five weeks before summer break.  There is a down-side to this though.  I am a student who has once taken a  21 credit hour semester during undergrad years and lived to tell the tale.  The reason why I did well that semester was because I was constantly under pressure and studying nonstop.  When I only have less than 4 credit hours (ex: this electives period), I slack off and relax a little too  much.  Because of this, I think it affected one of my course grades.  I have sad news to share with you . . . Emergency Critical Care class bit me in the butt HARD!!  This was the first time ever in my life that I got a C+ in a class 😦  I worked so hard studying for this class, but I guess I was just too burnt out from this 1st year curriculum.  I am a person who really tries to learn from failures and grow from them (yes, to me this is a defeat).  This will be my first and last C here in vet school!  My other classes were great (A in International Veterinary Medicine and an A in Communications).

After the completion of my 1st year of vet school, I was invited by another classmate of mine to join her in celebrating her birthday with friends at Depalmas Italian Cafe.  I enjoyed myself spending time with them and just simply relaxing and feeling at ease after this stressful year.  Thank you Kim and Happy Birthday again! 🙂

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That’s me on the right and Kim on the left
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I have to be honest and tell you that we are the only African Americans for our school’s Class of 2016.  You really can’t miss us in class 🙂

I decided to do something with my class that will greatly help future students choose the right electives for themselves.  I was inspired by “Rate My Professor”, so it is called “Rate My Electives”.  I know it’s not that creative, but it’s the thought that counts 🙂 1 means”NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!! and 5 equals “Highly Recommend it”.   Here are what classmates thought about each elective:

Animal Welfare
-Interesting topics, but also what you would expect from a welfare class. Writing papers after every class is tedious. Classes are also 2 hrs long but only once a week.   (3 of 5)

-Reminded me of Orientation all over again (either you loved it or you thought it was a waste of time/ I thought it was a good way to get to know my classmates, so I was okay with it).  Labs were too long (3 hours! Did not need to be).  Don’t sit in the back. You can’t hear anything. All the professors are soft spoken.  Loved that Dr. Cornell texts the class after lectures to remind us to do the discussions.  (3.5 out of 5)

-Low stress class. A few papers and daily discussion questions, as long as you keep up, are easy points. I learned some helpful information and although the mock interview was stressful it was well worth it. I only did a 4.5/5 becuase sometimes the lectures and labs were boring, but hey, easy class. (4.5 out of 5)

-Easy points. Learned a ton of useful things. I suck at communication, so I feel like this class is a must! Labs are 3 hours long which sucks-felt like banging my head on the desk midway through. (4.5/5)

-Veterinarians play a lot of roles, and I feel that the skills I learned in this class would help me. I agree that as long as you keep up with the busy work, you will do well. Labs are way too long and I tend to zone out a bit, so be prepared for that (4.5 out of 5)

-Great class. Everyone needs to take this class if you are going to be a clinician of some sort, especially in small animal practice. Yes, it’s a lot of busy work, and it’s an easy A class if you do the work and remember the due dates. I thought some of the assignments were more useful than others. The labs were long, but the role plays we did in labs were very useful I thought. Like Cornell said in class, it’s only valuable if you play the role and try to get something useful out of it. The mock exam video assignment was very useful. I really enjoyed doing that because I got to see myself in a veterinary-client situation. You really learn a lot from that and see where you can improve yourself. Overall, this class was very practical for me as a future small animal private practice veterinarian. (5 out of 5)

Critical Reading
-Not completely what I was expecting, but it was a good introduction into evidence based medicine. It was lacking in some background information because I’ve never taken a statistics class. The class helped with some of that, but I’ve still got a long way to go. The course will more than likely change names after this year which will help with knowing what to expect going into it. The only reason I took this class was because my mentor told me how it would be useful. I was a little disappointed in the amount of work involved with it. You’ll have to read 1-2 vet. journal articles per week and discuss them in journal club, we had 3 assignments to do (2 small and 1 big), and a final which we’ve been told is very straightforward and laid back – we’ll see. So far, it seems like the grading in the class is pretty laid back, but we haven’t gotten all of our grades back yet. Overall, I think it will be a useful class for my future career. (3 out of 5)

Clinical Thinking
-Great class! Really gets you thinking clinically. Helps to make problem lists and how to work through real cases. Just wish it wasn’t at 8am every morning. (4.8 of 5)

-Great intro to thinking like a doctor! learned how to do soaps and talked through cases in a low stress atmosphere. I never felt stupid for being wrong. All work is done in class for the most part though you can choose to keep working outside of class. Highly recommend this class! (5 out of 5)

-good class–take it if you can. I enjoyed Rad more than Ward (5 / 5)

Emergency Critical Care 
-Many of the professors use powerpoint slides for the their lectures, but they will give us just pdf or word document notes. I personally don’t like this because I’m a visual learner, so I got bored easily studying the material on my own. Dr. Brainard, Scherk, and Epstein are the only professors who gave us there slides. There were about 7 professors total.  This class greatly revealed that a lot of emergency cases involved Physiology (you may want to rethink your career goals if you despise Physiology). It does help you see why Physiology is such an important fundamental subject though.  The one lab we had was fantastic! We learned all the different catheters & how to place catheters in a fake vein, learned CPR, and getting blood pressure w/ pulse ox and Doppler.  I liked how we had the opportunity to go down to the clinics to observe what the doctors do in the emergency clinic.  No Echo is used, challenging take-home midterm (3.5 out of 5)

-No Echo, and challenging mid-term. Take home doesn’t make it any less difficult so this is not a gpa boosting class. Great information we should all be exposed to. Only 1 lecture for LA, rest is SA (3.5/5)
-This class upset me. The lab was great but the lectures can be hard to follow when we were not given the slides, the PDFs are harder to follow. Expect to spend 6hrs in the ICU (which was a waste of my time) and about 10hrs on the take home midterm (if you’re slow like me). Very hard, if you don’t say it exactly how they want it said, its wrong. The professors are great though and will take the time to meet with you, they want you to start thinking like a doctor as early as possible and really understand this stuff. (2 out of 5)

-It’s not an easy A…or B…, you’ll work your tail off for whatever you get. However, that said it is a very thought provoking class. It’s the first time I felt like a doctor in vet school. I loved the clinic time. We saw a lot of cases come in and the residents were awesome at treating us like mini-seniors, asking questions about what we thought was wrong and why. I’m LA and I thought it was definitely worth my while to take, even if I take a hit on the grade. (4.5/5)

-This was a good class for me. Lots of useful information for sure. The teachers seem genuinely interested in what they are talking about and Dr. Brainard is a good lecturer especially. I didn’t find the PDFs hard to follow. I REALLY enjoyed the time in the ICU-it made me a lot less afraid to go down there and watch stuff. They did grade kind of hard on the mid-term, but I went and talked to Dr. Koenig afterward and she was very helpful in reviewing the stuff I missed. Also, the testing style really encouraged you to think about problems and work your way through them rather than just regurgitating information. I found this refreshing. (4.5/5)

-This class is essential! Sure, it’s hard, and the professors expect a lot, but the information you get is absolutely invaluable. TAKE THIS CLASS! (5 out 5)

-take the class. Everyone has to pass their boards no matter what you plan to do. I don’t care if you are large animal, chicken, pathology, equine, or whatever. (5 out 5)

-Take this class! I learned a ton about ECC and general clinical medicine. The professors are experienced and entertaining. I loved that we got to do two 3-hour shifts in the ICU. It was a great experience. The questions on the mid-term are kind of vague but I still enjoyed the class a lot. (4.5/5)

-Grades aren’t the end all be all in vet school like everyone says and acts like. This class is difficult if you’re looking for a grade or a GPA boost. It’s also easy and enjoyable if you’re looking for practicallity. I found it easy to study for because this information in this class can be applied to most everything in our profession. We actually get to apply some of the physiology we learned in the core part of the semester. This class is definitely worth it to take, and I thought it was one of the most valuable courses I’ve taken so far in vet school. I did think the midterm was more indicative of a clinical situation than the final. The final was mostly multiple choice. After this class I’ve come to despise multiple choice exams more and more because I don’t feel like I take anything away from the test. (4 out of 5)

Exotic Mammals
-Wonderful class and professors! Very interesting and interactive. Online tests are challenging and timed which can be stressful.       (4.5 of 5)

-Loved the professors, very entertaining! Tests were online, and though they were hard you can make up points in class and for homework. I didnt learn as much about exotic mammals as I had hoped, but what we were taught was helpful. The basics such as retraint and basic behaviors, which is good if you are not as familiar with the species. You do not have to be well aquainted with exotics to do well in this class, have no fear. (4.8 out of 5)

-Great lecturers. Everyone is very dynamic and interesting. SUCH a refreshing change of pace from traditional lectures. Lots of class participation through technology (at least this year), but it’s all anonymous, so there’s no pressure or calling anyone out. I thought the class was an easy A as well. (5.0/5)

-Dr. Divers and Dr. Mayer are both awesome. This class is very clinically relevant. If you are at all interested in exotic animal medicine, this is a perfect intro class. Undoubtedly (5/5)

LA Infectious Diseases

-Very immunology based. A lot of the information is what we learned in bacteriology/virology. Dairy lab was great! (2/5)

-Loved the dairy lab. A lot of immunology *bleh* but relevant diseases and refresher of Bac-T and Virology but with pathology mixed in (2.5/ 5)

-This class is not what I was expecting.  You learn about a few important pathogens, but this class should be called LA immunology in my opinion.  We talked about vaccines and the immune response ad nauseum.  Lots of repetition in lectures that got boring for me.  Tests haven’t been super hard (yet).  Dairy lab was fun because we got to play with cows. (2.0/5)

-OMG do NOT take this class. Big mistake. SNORE fest. Dr. Hurley reads STRAIGHT off the slides. Too much immunology BS. Hated it. I honestly cannot say I learned anything new? All review with focus on immunology. Bleh (0/5)

 Public Health      

-Great Professor.  Easy class, you have a couple of open note quizzes, a paper and a presentation, but it’s not bad.  Really enjoyable lectures.  It meets at noon though, so be prepared to pack a lunch. (4.5/5)

-Not stressful at all. Group paper=40% of grade, open notes/internet=60% of grade. Have to present paper, but not graded on presentation. Dr. Mead is awesome, bought us pizza!      (5/5)

-Dr. Mead is great.  The class was easy- just 3 online quizzes and a paper/presentation. There were a few lectures that weren’t really public health-based so that was slightly frustrating.  Pretty much a guaranteed A.  (4.5/5)

I hope these first hand accounts greatly help you with deciding what elective course you want to take.  Well, I guess that’s all I have to share.  I will not be thinking heavily on science this summer (need a break).  My plans are rest and working on a Christmas album!  I am very excited about this project, and I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I want it to strictly encompass the beauty of my Savior Jesus Christ.  That is what Christmas is meant for.  Talk with you again next school year!

Through Him,


1 John 5:4 – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.