So I’m coming up on something that many medical students like myself like to call: Hell Week.

Here in the University of the Philippines: Los Banos, my life as a veterinary student has mostly been hard. Really hard. I’d say that this in some aspects, even trumps the work that I usually had to do when I was at Cornell University. While I did fairly well at Cornell, I didn’t really have to study so hard to get good grades. For some reason, I usually got the concepts immediately. I would not spend my time at the libraries, but when I did, a very tall chai Latte from the cafe at Uris would usually do me good enough to get me through the entire night. Nowadays, it’s a little different. I don’t have the luxuries that I had at Cornell. No library that’s open 24 hours. No good cafes that can give me a good chai latte to get me through the night. No food courts with delicious buffet-style breakfasts, lunches and dinners. All I have is me, myself, and I. I’ve had to revamp some of my study habits to account for the volume of material that comes up in my lectures, but I know this is what I have to do to get through veterinary school.

What I find hard about most of the exams is the specificity of some of the questions. While at Cornell I used to just learn general concepts and be fine, here I have to remember a lot of tables, numbers and ranges of values that I honestly don’t think I will be using much when I go into clinical practice. My professors are very smart people and they are great doctors, but at points I am in awe at the amount of numbers and lists of numbers that I have to learn. Now I’ve worked in clinical practice as a veterinary technician before and have even done some medical rotations with some of the top doctors in New York City, and I have never seen any one of them hash out tables and ranges of values for most diseases. When they do have to use that information, there’s usually a plethora of textbooks and manuals that will give the information they need when they look it up.

Okay, now I sound like I’m complaining. But that’s not really what I was trying to get at.

I appreciate all the professors and their work to make us great veterinary students. I guess what I’m trying to express is that I’m having a hard time trying to cope with it all, because there’s just so much to do and seemingly little time. It seems that my girlfriend Jeannie is also going through the same rut that I’m going through, and I can’t say that I’m surprised. We’re both in two different medical fields, but medical fields nonetheless. We’ve both had a year off from school to go work and now we’re actually doing what we’ve dreamed to do. We’re becoming doctors. To have the fate of some person or animal’s life in your hands is no joke. I suppose all of this studying is for the best. Once we get to the point of being doctors, we have a full plate of responsibility on our hands. We should definitely be prepared to take anything that comes our way.

I’m doing alright this semester and will probably do fine, but the next few weeks will be where it really matters. It kind of scares me to tell you the truth. Before I fly back to the US during the first week of April I am looking at dealing with probably 7-10 exams in the next three weeks. And 7 of those 10 possible exams are taking place next week. It’s a pretty daunting task, if you ask me, but I’m starting my studying and I really hope that I can pull through with good scores.

Another reason that I’ve decided to come back and write this blog is because I am thinking of turning this web-site (or more specifically this blog) into a kind of “chronicles of a veterinary student abroad” site. A place where I can tell of my exploits as a veterinary student in the Philippines and post up some interesting pictures and videos about my experiences here. I have another 3 years to go here, with possible clinical rotations happening back in the US during my 3rd or 4th year, but I’d like to keep a sort of diary to record everything that I go through. I’m sure that the road ahead of me will be arduous and trying, but if I can help any other veterinary students out there while I’m tackling this entire endeavor then I’d love to be of service. I’ve definitely been meaning to do something to record my efforts here, because I want to remember what I’ve been through during my quest to become a veterinary student. So I think when i get done with the next three weeks of work I will start a new project to revamp this web-site to accommodate a more diary-like layout and structure. I’d love to let other veterinary students know how I work, how I play, and how to get through this journey in one piece.

Anyway, these are just thoughts that popped into my mind. I haven’t written here in awhile, mostly because I kind of have forgotten about it… but I will write more as soon as I get done with these stupid exams. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Take care guys. See ya on the flip side.

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