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Find out what our undergraduate veterinary medicine students have to say about living and studying in Edinburgh.
Selected rotations

Selected rotations

Photo of Dani PollHey all! The last few months have been full of exams and stress, but now that they are all over most of us get to enjoy the time left on selected rotations. I can’t believe that I am already through 2 of my 3 selected rotations and basically 4 months away from being a “real vet”. It’s exciting and slightly terrifying that in a few months I will be responsible for my patients and making decisions on my own. To think that the next few months are going to be full of “Lasts” only to start with “Firsts” of many once I start in practice. For example, I spent my last day in the Farm Animal Hospital. My last day working with specific clinicians and last time injecting a cow with hormones (in Scotland at least). Pretty soon I’ll start my first day as a Vet. I’ll do my first solo surgery, my first case workup on my own and so on.

Chimpanzee at Edinburgh Zoo

I’m enjoying selected rotations more than core mostly due to the length of time you get to spend there. Core rotations are a quick taste of what the area is like. You spend one week in each area of the hospitals ( i.e. Cardio, surgery, internal medicine) and rotate between the small, large animal, and equine hospital. When you are on selected rotations you get to choose 3 areas that you enjoyed or want more experience with and you get to go back and spend 3 weeks there rather than just 1. This gives you the opportunity to do and learn more in that specific area. I chose my three based on what I wanted more experience in and what I thought I would enjoy most. I chose farm practice, Edinburgh Zoo, and a working equid selected located in Morocco. I’ve already made it through the first two and have learned so much.

The first 3 weeks were farm and they split it up by week. One week you are on practice, the next in the farm hospital, and the third you are doing mostly herd health visits on farms and writing reports. My favorite activity that we did was when we had a bit of down time and the clinician pulled his car over and gave us a “typical call” and asked us what equipment we would get out of the car. For example we had one that said “Cow down in field” and that was all the info we had to go on. You needed to think of what it could possibly be and what you would need. It’s a bit more important in farm animal because you have to be able to carry all the things you need out to the field with you and don’t want to have to run back to your car all the time. It was good to get us thinking about differentials as well as what we would treat with which was good for me.

Monkey at Edinburgh ZooThe last three weeks I have been out at Edinburgh Zoo. Zoo and aquatic medicine is something I have always been interested in and I was so excited for this rotation. It did not disappoint and I learned so much. Every day is different and you are examining so many different species. We also had some great discussions on hot topics within the zoo community. There is a lot of discussion on whether zoos should even exist and I love seeing things from both sides. This was such a great opportunity to get involved and see what actually goes on behind the scenes.

I’ve got one more selected to go which I am really excited to start. Final year is just speeding along and I can’t believe how soon I’ll be standing at graduation and starting my fist “Adult Job”. It seems so surreal how fast the last 4 years have gone!



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