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Thursday, February 2, 2012

No title

Thinking up a title would require more brain power than what I currently possess. 

Now is the time I have to trust that UC Davis knows what it's doing as it attempts to turn my class into vets.  We got hit with the anatomy of the brain, head, skull, and the cranial nerve organization at the beginning of this week and my first instinct was to stare stupidly at my computer, as I realized that it now had more valuable information in its memory, than I did. 

One VERY important thing to remember about this new block system is there is NO PROCRASTINATING.  I thought the quarter system kept you on your this new block system the longest block is 8 weeks long.  Most are shorter.  Which means you get new material/topic introduction in week one, followed by advanced concepts, and then in 8 weeks or less you are tested on all aspects of that subject, and then you move on to a new block. 

The good: I get to focus on one subject at once and immerse myself in it fully.  I don't (theorictally) have time to forget anything.

The bad: When the subject requires you to memorize a list of 400 new terms and structures, you don't have the luxery of a couple of months to do so.  You have weeks. 

I'm trying to stay focused and go through everything methodically.  I think this is going to be a continuing trend in vet school - get comfortable with the material and then get hit with a bunch of new stuff.....get comfy with THAT and then get hit with even MORE new stuff.  I just have to remember that I felt this way in each of the previous blocks - that I would NEVER be able to stuff it all into my head, and then by the time the end of the block came around, I could actually speak the language of the subject. 

On Monday I stared stupidly at the damn dog skull and could barely keep my eyes open because all I wanted to do was take a nap because I was so overwhelmed by the number of structures and funny names (bulbar?  styloid?  Hyo? pestrosol?).  It was at that point I suspected I might be too stupid to be a vet. 

On Tuesday I stared stupidly at my computer, swearing I could NEVER get the cranial nerves straight and realized that indeed I was too stupid to be a vet. 

On Wednesday I actually sat down with the nerves and tried to map them out.  I got through half of them and realized that there just might be hope.

On Thursday morning I realized I wasn't hopelessly overwelmed - just determined. 

Neuro so far is a fabulous block.  The material isn't easy, but it's well presented and the block leader is doing a GREAT job.  In the past I've scooted past brain and nerve stuff by rote memorization and test-question-predicting.  It's not a subject that is intuitively easy for me.  However, so far it is the subject that has "resonated" with me the strongest.

Because behavior is so rooted in physiology and anatomy, I do wonder why more vets don't address behavior problems in much the same way as they address other medical problems.  Maybe because there's more confounding factors?  There's plenty of non-vet dog and horse trainers - some of whom are good, and some of whom aren't.  I'd love to integrate behavior, training, and medical care - call it animal psychology or psychiatry - as an integrated approach....I think the idea intrigues me because of the amount of client education that is involved.  


  1. My guess is that most behavior problems come back to owner issues and not something the vet can fix. either it's poor nutrition triggering the behavior (sweet feed hyper horse, cheap dog food spazzy dog) or it's just that the owner needs training. Cats who pee on things are the only example I can think of where it's actually usually a biological problem that a vet can dx and rx to fix.

  2. I think that nutrition is defintely within the vets' realm. Anxiousness in dogs is something that I think benefits from a behavior + medicine approach. I can think of more examples but class is starting. I'll try to update this if I remember and if I come across something in class.

  3. Nutrition: I think it should be, and perhaps it's coming to be, but vets used to get a couple seminars on nutrition in the whole three years.

    Anxiousness in dogs is a great example!

  4. The nutrition education isnt' there yet IMO, BUT I think the vet student that is interested will pursue that knowledge outside the classroom from qualified people.

    Regarding behavior + medicine, I read this: "Research has shown that about 30% of dogs with behavior problems have medical issues contributing to the problem, or will benefit from medication" - but it was from a site of a vet that is trying to do the behavior practice so isnt' the most reliable and I have no idea what "research" she is referring too.......

  5. Self mutilation would be another!


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