Thursday, December 31, 2015

Auscultating : Ending 2015

I can't believe this is the last day of the year already! One more year's ending to welcome another year's beginning; by the time this happens in another 365 days I would be in my last year of undergraduate vet school! Hopefully by that time I would be able to secure a good post-graduate program.

Yet, as they say, keep your hopes there but never too high.

Let's see what 2015 have been all about:

January 2015:

Most of the time was actually spent on practicals and gaining weight I would say. The mediocre week in Penang for equine rotation and 2 awesome weeks of small animal rotation in Healing Rooms went by extremely fast, I barely have had enough time to digest everything. With finals end and stepping into immediate extra-mural practicals, I have little to no space for any personal development. Yet, time was indeed well spent.

February 2015:

I finally fulfilled one of my teenage dream to step into Japan as a conference participant of Vet Youth Summit Japan. It was literally the best decision I've made in my life, as the whole trip there literally opened up my horizon of views, thoughts, perception and decisions; allowing myself to actually feel it in my blood that the road I've paved for myself up till today was worth while. Meeting new friends from all over the world and making a point that I'm pretty much a natural attention seeker wherever I go, I fell in lover over and over again in Japan when I had the short 10 days stay. While spending the first Chinese New Year away from home and alone was a different type of undertaking, I'd thoroughly enjoyed my walk down the different path.

March 2015:

Stepping into the clinical years of veterinary school surely have taken its toll on me. The subjects now require extensive understanding and much more memorization of details and bits which I've not dealt with before. Plenty of skill-related development was also required throughout the attainment of knowledge at this phase, but I sure have enjoyed all the moments, despite the late night sleep and tiredness after a whole day of lecture or surgery class.

April 2015:

While we have had intensive classes back to back, the best thing about our faculty is that we make the effort to put ourselves into the whole "Holistic" category kinda thing. I'm pretty sure we are the only medicine or science based faculty which organizes annual sports and drama event to instill the organizational abilities, sportsmanship and creativity skills in all our faculty members, including the lecturers. Majilis Silatrahim this year was all about Crime and Justice, and all I need to dress up as was my dad's retired police uniform. While most seniors complained that I was the fattest and most corrupted policeman they've seen; I sure have had fun in getting the attention I needed

May 2015:

While most people died trying to stay in the class, I died trying to get out of the class. This time of the year marked the 2nd time for me to fly out of the country to Bangkok as a volunteer under IVSA in the 2015 WSAVA Congress. My semester results might have screwed up big time because of this, but I did not once regretted my decision to do this because I've met so many people and veterinarians all over the world, not to mention make a huge declaration to the Malaysian community that I exist.

On the other hand I've finally stepped down as my last stint of organizational position as the PEC President of the university, not like I've done anything great, and continued with my studies full time.

June 2015:

June marks the end of the 2nd academic semester of the year and one step close to nightmares like practical tests, oral tests and finals. I totally went through a nightmare this semester because of all the extra-faculty activities I put myself through. Despite my results turning out to be pretty much the worst in my whole DVM life, I'd still say I've survived the semester well. All I wanted was the semester to end fast and for me to continue with my practicals I've been dying for in Thailand and Japan.

July 2015:

Stepping into another country for practical for the 2nd time and my 3rd flight of the year, Mahidol University in Kanchanaburi was the bomb. I had the chance to be part of the wildlife rescue team to go into the forest reserve, had great time over the weekend in the natural forest, draw blood from elephants, monitor the anesthesia of a tiger, draw blood from a horse, vaccinate 100 to 200 sheep and goats, deworming flocks of chicken and geese, explore Kanchanaburi a little bit more in the Tham Ma Sae gorge and railway station, and the best of all; made friends with so many Thai friends plus a Spanish or two. Mahidol University have offered one of the best rotations I've ever had. I'm forever lucky like that. The only downside I had throughout the placement here was the weakness I gave in to hope for a 2nd chance with T; only to know that in fact T and I were just over for real. I was so done with the answers T have given then. T unfriended me on the social media once to allow both of us to move on at one point, only to readd me again later on while we have yet to spoke to each other since then. On the other hand, N began to have advances when I was shown to have a few Mahidol acquaintances.

August 2015:

Do I have to say more? This was the BEST month of my life this year. Why? Japan, JAPAN, JAPAAAANNNNNN. I've spent 6 months planning the whole up to 30 days stay in Japan with budget of RM6K, and experienced Japan throughout the whole Island.

Before my practical, I went to Osaka again to finish up my unfinished trip back in February.

After that,  I've managed to conquer the South Japan Island;  Yamaguchi for 3 weeks as I was having my laboratory practicals there. I've learned a lot on lab skills including first hand PCR, immunostaining, immunoblotting, ELISA test kit using, anatomical slides staining, post mortem on a horse as well as first hand experience of clinic consultation plus surgery practices in Yamaguchi University.

Apart from that, I was extremely luck to have great friends to bring me to Hiroshima, Shimonoseki and Kitakyushu, while I explored Hagi, Tsuwano and Yamaguchi myself.

With a good ride to Ube-Yamaguchi, I again had great friends in the North Japan Island; Hokkaido for 5 days around Sapporo, Arakwa and Otaru.

Before I end my trip; I had a great 6 days tour around Central Japan of Tokyo with a bit of help of Tokyo friends around Tokyo vicinity and relived all my childhood dreams with Digimon.

September 2015:

Finally the real clinical years have begun! Stepping into the faculty again at this point was super exciting because it simply was just so fun! New subjects with a combination of old ones plus complete freedom to practice our skills and knowledge on veterinary medicine at this point was just simply amazing! Stepping into DVM 4 was definitely what all vet students have been waiting for in their lives. I've not been enjoying studies as crazy as this since STPM!

October 2015:

I finally stepped into small animal rotations in the wards! I've never had so much fun before, despite the fact that I need to wake up at 6 am in the morning and reach home only about 10pm at night; I thoroughly enjoyed my rotation in wards learning about the medicine and surgical protocols I will be using in the future to treat my patients! Despite all odds of having my original last Course Night in my last day of rotations, I've managed to make it to the course night with my Yukata piece I got from Osaka!

November 2015:

The whole November just went on and on with numerous numbers of tests which I do sulk a lot about, but still adamantly enjoyed the torture my lecturers put me through. While maintaining a considerable busy life schedule and sufficiently standard in my academics, I'm pretty happy I've managed my time well and not stumbled in my academics like I did in my previous semester. Being more attentive and high in attendance in class do have its perks in getting better results.

December 2015:

As the year mark its end with my semester ending as well, I've finally settled down with my new home with certain tolerable amount of furniture to throw a small welcoming party in the last day of the semester. People from my both academic years turned out and they enjoyed each others' company very well, I have never been more blessed to get the best of both worlds from Vetsouls and Kakijalan. I might have been cursed with the split identity, but I'm definitely blessed with different pots of good soup for the soul.

Stepping into 2015 means, stepping into another year of reality and adulthood. I will begin taking in tenants for my new home while I continue to hone skills to be a full-fledged veterinarian.

It's somewhat exciting yet intimidating, but I'm sure my bold and brawns will conquer all.

On the other note, thanks to Alex and Jboy's recommendation I've finally got myself hooked up with one of those apps they have for dating. I guess I need to broaden my horizons, despite a few surprises of faces I've seen around.

Have great new year people.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Auscultating : Courses taken on Sem 9

Finally, the 14 weeks of craziness came to an end!

No more waking up at 7 or 6.30am,
No more ending classes at 7pm on Tuesdays,
No more weekly tests!

I'd swear I have had the most test in this semester compared to any other before. Literally every week we have had tests waiting.

While it was extremely tiring to anticipate all the tests, I have to say I've enjoyed the semester thoroughly.

The subjects taken this semester were:

1- Clinical Medicine
2- Avian Medicine
3- Applied Statistics
4- Theriogenology
5- Surgery of the body systems
6- Clinical rotation

1-Clinical Medicine:

Clinical medicine basically was a sequel to Clinical Skills we had last semester, by its name on clinical medicine, we dabbled a lot on various body systems and the common diseases which had high prevalence in our country. From cardiovascular to ocular system, we take a basic tour on what clinical signs we could see, the way to diagnose and confirm the disease as well as the first line management and treatment to improve the quality of life of the patient. I loved this subject a lot because its very medicine based, and I could relate a lot more. I wouldn't say I was the best scoring student, but I'm sure I will be able to make wise judgement in various approaches to the medicine.

2- Avian Medicine:

Among all subjects, I would say I have the least affinity for this subject. Probably because I knew I wouldn't be venturing into the avian industry in the future. Nevertheless, my marks for the subject turn out to be pretty much a huge surprise, despite the fact that I put the least effort in it. Avian medicine covers all infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting the domestic birds like chicken, ducks, pheasants, geese and turkey, with a little touch and go on the pet and wild birds like humming birds, parrots, cockatoos and love birds. The diseases in birds are intimidatingly vast with much in depth research explored thanks to the effort of various industry players all over the world. Let's see if I can score an A for this subject after the finals

3- Applied Statistics.

Everyone literally was dumbfounded when they saw this subject in the list. Why on earth would veterinarians need to learn about statistics? Does medical students actually have a course in this as well? Apparently, statistics is indeed important, in so many ways I couldn't have imagined before taking the course. From comparing effects of treatment between sample groups to the epidemiological status of a disease, the application of statistics is just limitless. I enjoyed the subject throughout, though I would say I should have invested a bit more time on it

4- Theriogenology

I'm not too certain if human medicine does this, but basically this course encompasses the reproductive cycle in various domestic animals. The estrus cycle, the gestation period, hormonal cycle, methods in inducing and maintaining the pregnancy, care post-partum as well as various ideas in improving reproduction efficiency of domestic animals. Plenty would probably think that we are playing god, but we are actually optimizing reproductive cylcles, which even human medicine can employ. I enjoyed this subject basically because it dealt a lot with ruminants, which I have had a lot of chances to relate to.

5- Surgery of the body systems:

A continuity from the surgery and anesthesia course last semester, the surgery this semester focused more on different body systems. There are usually diseases which indicate the surgeries' necessity, which we will need to look into the clinical signs, make a conclusive diagnosis of the diseases and employ the approaches towards the surgery. Surgery indeed is an art, literally. We were anesthetists, tailors, carpenters and veterinarians all in the same package; because everything we do in the surgery affects the outcome of the surgery and the subsequent lifespan on the patient. I would say surgery is probably not my turf, but I indeed enjoyed the part as anesthetist a lot.

6- Clinical rotation

This is probably the best among the bunch. Clinical rotation marked as the most taxing subject and the closest we can get to practicing as a veterinarian. Entering different departments in the faculty, we participate either a whole week's course or a one day course in the designated rotated department from small animal medicine, surgery, diagnostic imaging, clinical pathology, small animal clinic, parasitology, virology, bacteriology, post mortem, ruminant and equine rotation to learn on various cases and practice what we have learned in class. Plenty of the seniors said that rotation is extremely tiring and stressful, but I would say I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process , despite the ups and downs in each rotation. In fact, I would say its the most fruitful course.

Basically, I loved the semester and I am looking forward to the next! I'm doing so many clinical work right now I feel like I'm one step closer in becoming a full-fledged vet. However, I still lack many important skills, which I strongly think I should get more experience. I am still torn between going to Mahidol again for placement or Hokkaido University for good 10 weeks to know for sure if I'm really into small animal medicine for now.

So much have happened this semester, good stuffs and bad stuffs. Supposingly this was my 2nd last semester if I didn't go to med school, but thanks to that I have ample time to build my skills where I need them most.

I'll probably post a little on the drama I dealt with lately, and I should do that tomorrow after I've met one of the drama queens.

Thursday, December 3, 2015