Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free Time and HOUSE

I just took my last midterm today until Finals. It was Immunology and apparently our professor likes natural killer cells since there were a lot of questions about them. I feel ok about the exam, but I don't really care right now because I am so excited about this break from tests until Finals.

Yesterday, the surgery club learned how to scrub into surgeries. I have seen it done a lot, but seeing and doing are totally different. I thought the hardest part was figuring out how to position the glove before putting it on. Altogether, it was a fun time learning about the instruments, scrubbing, and draping for surgery. We also had an ophthalmology lab today which was rather interesting. It's fun learning how to actually do procedures that you've seen others perform and wondered what they were doing/looking for. Seeing the optic disk from the back of an animal's eye is really cool.

I feel a little lost right now because I don't have a test to study for. I'm going to relax tonight and maybe start reviewing tomorrow or later in the week for finals. This is such a good feeling to know that I don't have to scramble to complete assignments or stay up late to study for a test. Oh, I'm going to watch House tonight which reminds me of what my professor said about him: He's a bad doctor because he uses treatments to diagnose his patients. We're supposed to use physical exams and lab tests to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment, instead of House's backwards approach. Yeah, this upset some people in my class too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Changes in Admission at MSU

I just heard today how MSU vet school's admission criteria has changed drastically. The last few years MSU has been trying to eliminate grades from the admission process. However, the new admission standards are that 60% of the class will be selected solely on GPA and GRE scores. The other 40% will be selected based on grades, application, and interview.

This is a huge change and I do have theories about why this has happened, but I haven't heard an explanation yet. This is good for people like me that are good at school - not necessarily smart, just performs well in the class. I wish this would've been the standards when I was applying. I've heard people from my class say how future classes won't have personality or won't be able to interact with clients. On the flipside, vet students need to be able to learn the material and pass the classes before they start worrying about interacting with clients. I do kinda like this idea as about half the class should do well in the classes and the other half will add the diversity of experiences. I think it will be vital for these classes to work together and learn from each other to become "hot shot MSU vets" (being intelligent with good people skills).

One theory why this is happening stems from rumors in my class of a lot of students are struggling in classes. I think there is a lot of diversity of experiences in my class which is why we are expected to be a great class among the faculty. This diversity will also make for some creativity in solving problems. I just hope we can all pass our classes and stay as a class.

MSU is still working out the kinks in the new curriculum, but upperclassmen all agree that it's better than it was. I know changes will be made after my class and probably for the next few years. Any school has its problems, but I'm happy to be here at MSU.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I did fairly bad on our 2nd histology test even with the 12 questions thrown out so I was hoping to redeem myself on the 3rd test last week. At least I did better, but I'm going to have to work hard for the Final. So far, a lot of questions have been thrown out of the last two tests. Apparently, it's still not helping me that much. I do not think I'm meant to be a histologist. I'm still waiting for my lab grade that I'm hoping is better than the lecture portion.

I can't wait till next Tuesday as that is our Immunology test - the last test until finals. I am looking forward to a break in studying. I am already sick of studying Immuno and I have a lot more studying to do before the test.

I'm realizing that I am only remembering school-related material. I can't remember what I did yesterday or what classes I have tomorrow. My sister-in-law diagnosed this as "survival mode." I've never had a good memory for dates and events, but I feel that it's worse now.

Interesting Research

I just read in a magazine how the majority of cows align their bodies in the north-south direction. So the minority of cows face east or west when resting or grazing. I haven't been by any farms to do my own research, but this is definitely something to look for the next time you're driving past a farm. This behavior is thought to be related to the Earth's magnetic field and has been found to occur in other species as well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An Easy Week

Last week was a nice relaxing week. We only had a small test so there was quite a bit of free time. Early in the week, we had a horse lab. I feel so much more comfortable handling horses and giving them physicals after only an hour of working with them. I wish someone would have taken the time to show me this stuff before now.

I went down to watch some surgeries also. One surgery I watched was an amputation of the hindlimb. This was a great review of the muscles, nerves, and arteries that we've been learning in anatomy. I was able to help them out a little too. The surgeons were wondering where the muscles of the quadriceps originated and if they needed to cut them. In their defense, they don't usually do this surgery. I told them that rectus femoris is the only one that originates on the pelvis while the vastus muscles originate on the femur and don't need to be cut. They looked and saw that I was right. It was nice to show them that I am learning things. Hopefully I'll be scrubbing into surgeries soon.

Watching these surgeries and listening to clinicians has been a huge motivator to keep studying. There are so many times where I'm studying and don't know the clinical importance of the material. Seeing how what I'm studying will be useful and important in clinics encourages me to continue plugging away.