Sunday, January 13, 2008

One week down, 19 to go

I have officially survived the first week of the hardest semester of vet school... only 19 to go! Here's what I've been learning so far:
  • Skin and Adnexa: Otherwise known as Dermatology, Skin and Adnexa is all about what can go wrong with the skin, hair, hooves, and other stuff that covers the animal body. So far it's been a review of last year's Histology class and a vocab lesson about the difference between a pustule and a papule, a macule and a nodule, a patch and a plaque, a crust and scab. Lots of gross pictures in this class. Our professor is awesome simply because of her devotion to derm. The evidence? Her favorite lesion is a pustule (essentially a zit), because it is "so beautiful and precious."
  • Clinical Pathology: The follow-up to last semester's Gross Pathology. Clinical pathology is about what you'll see in the body of a live patient in response to disease. So while Gross Path was about what to look for on necropsy (i.e. you can't really help your patient at that point), Clin Path is about what to look for in that live critter standing in front of you. Much less depressing! So far we've been learning about the values that you get when you run bloodwork, and what it could mean if they're abnormal. Yay for clinical applications!
  • Neuropharmacology: Nerve drugs. How drugs can block sensations so you can do surgery, or keep animals from feeling pain. Nerves are always interesting, and I've always liked pharmacology, so I'm enjoying this class so far.
  • Cardiopulmonary System Diseases: Everything that can go wrong in the heart and lungs. So far we've been focusing on cows and horses, and since horses are such athletes, it's a pretty important system for them. So far the most important thing I've learned is that you should listen for sounds in the larynx before listening to the lungs. I'm not sure why yet.
  • Veterinary Imaging: X-rays, ultrasounds, CAT scans, and MRIs. Lots of time spent in a very dark lecture hall looking at X-ray images and talking about physics and photons and all. The most interesting thing so far was learning that you can tell a diamond from a cubic zirconia on an X-ray.
  • Reproductive Biology: Sex class. This class has harkened back to my days as a biology major, learning about why sex is evolutionary advantageous, why some species can get along okay without having sex, and all the different things that can go wrong genetically when chromosomes don't divide right. Our professor adds in all sorts of great vignettes about non-veterinary species, like that there are really inbred tribal communities in New Guinea that have such a high rate of a certain type of hermaphroditism that they believe there are three sexes, not two.
  • Obstetrics: Super James Herriot class, all about how to pull calves out of cows. So far the key lessons on obstetrical manipulation have been, "Gentle. With care. And lots of lube."
  • Medical Management of Zoo Animals: At first I wasn't go to take this class, since it's an elective and I'm really not planning on going into zoo medicine. Then I sat in on the first lecture and found out that all you need to do to pass is show up and listen to Dr. Farnsworth (in the photo to the right) talk about his life as a zoo vet and what he's learned. Sign me up! He's a great lecturer and has so many good stories to tell.
So far that's all we've had. There will be more classes starting up in a few weeks, so I'll comment on those later.

I'm already way behind in studying, so I should really stop blogging and get back to it........


clock-a-clay said...

Wait, it gets HARDER? Gah.

Your post also reminds me that I need to get your Veterinary Imaging book back to you...

all but 1 said...

It gets harder AND better.