A Day in the Life: Lauren Aldinger, V’12

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Lauren and a friend at the Penn Vet Hospital

A typical day in the life a veterinary student – some would call it monotonous, others fascinating. I’d like to think I fall somewhere in between on average. There are certainly days when I am exhilarated by the incredible breadth of knowledge we are exposed to: in one day we can begin with horses and progress through cows, dogs, and chameleons. Our education is incredibly cross-disciplinary too, incorporating ethics, legal issues, and business management into our discussions of medicine. Somehow between frequent trips to Wawa to infuse our systems with caffeine and intense online Scrabble matches, we make it through the 9 hours (but not infrequently 12 hours of classes) with a smile on our face and a remaining passion for the profession.

An especially notable highlight of our third year of veterinary school includes our surgical exercises class. Here we get to finally employ our clinical skills and yield a scalpel while doing it! We are given the task of spaying a dog in groups of three. Each person in the group is responsible for performing the role of  surgeon, assistant, and anesthetist over the course of three separate surgeries. We are given ample preparatory materials and heavy supervision to complete the job successfully. This is a very rewarding experience for us as over the course of the surgery week, we develop a special relationship with our group’s dog. The week I was the surgeon was very special since we found a wonderful home for our spay dog. She is currently in loving life on a llama farm living with many other critters!

Veterinary school is definitely a stressful, but wonderful stage of our careers. The more we learn, the more we itch to break out into clinics and then finally into clinical practice after graduation! Many envy our positions in veterinary school, and every day (despite the heavy workload) I am grateful for this tremendous opportunity.

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