Monday, December 19, 2011

Catching Up

It has been a little bit since I've updated...

I took my NAVLE (National Board Exam) and I will find out the results end of January/early February, which is a bit stressful, but at least it is over (for now). Everyone else seems as concerned as I am about the results (which is slightly encouraging, at least I am not the only one who feels there is a possibility of failure). I know that it really doesn't say or mean anything about how good of a vet I am going to be, but it would be REALLY nice to not have to devote another 6 hours of my life to retaking it in April.

I presented my research that I have been working on since second year of vet school at the Science of Veterinary Medicine Symposium. For those that are interested (probably not many!) my research is on diagnosing septic peritonitis using a hand-held glucometer (like those used to test blood sugar in diabetic people). It involved a LOT of data collecting, analyzing, and interpreting, and just as preliminary results were being written up, the company that makes the glucometer asked if we would repeat the study with the newest model of glucometer. They would fund the project and send the prototype, but basically everything that I had worked on for two years wouldn't be used. As you can imagine, I was a little saddened by this news... but it is all for the progress and improving diagnosis in veterinary medicine and not about me. BUT I did get to present the research that I had worked on. I had so much fun! The auditorium was full (probably 150-200 people) and I didn't see anyone fall asleep! AANNDDD I won 3rd place for presentations! I felt inspired by telling people something that was brand new, and teaching them everything they ever wanted (and didn't want) to know about abdominal fluid, bacteria, and glucose, and I realized that I would REALLY enjoy teaching.

This inspired me to consider applying for internships instead of deciding to just go into private practice. So I filled out my applications, got my letters of reference, and had a conversation with Matt. We discussed the pros and cons of each decision:

Private Practice:
PROS: Client relationships (which I LOVE), money (which is very helpful being 120K in debt with student loans), time, starting the next chapter of life with a house and family, being close to our families
CONS: No teaching
PROS: Step one towards doing what my ideal job would be (emergency specialist and teaching at a school), flooding experience with a very high caseload
CONS: Possibly having to move somewhere for only one year, voluntary servitude for another year, no time, no family, no money, having to deal with the bureaucracy of a public institution, and if I did an internship, I would want to do a residency (another 4 years after the internship) to get my specialty in ECC, which then would be very time consuming and wouldn't allow me to have the family time that I would want.

To a sane person, this seems like a no-brainer. But it was a decision that caused a lot of angst to me. It was the first time in my life that I didn't know EXACTLY what I was going to do. I have wanted to be a vet since I was 6... I didn't ever think about what KIND of a vet I wanted to be. The decision basically broke down to choosing between the career that I decided I wanted, or the family life I always wanted. I have always wanted kids, a nice house, and being able to host my family, Matt's family and our friends for dinners/parties. All of that, not really possible being a Criticalist and being on-call 24/7. So with Matt's help, we decided that I should apply for only the internship at UGA (so if I did get it, we wouldn't have to move), and also apply for jobs, as to have many options and just let the decision be out of my hands. He is smart :)

THEN... I had Neurology. Another REALLY intense rotation (6AM-4AM, back at 6AM... yea...) And I started to feel more and more annoyed at little things... like the inefficiency of the hospital, and some of the people that work in the hospital. Granted, it could have been 3 weeks of "that time of the month" (unlikely), but maybe I was moody from being tired and overworked. But by the end of the 3 weeks I had come to the conclusion that I COULD NOT handle working for the rest of my life in that environment and be a happy person. So really, I didn't want the internship. The afternoon I made that decision (literally had the conversation with Matt) I got a phone call offering me a job at a clinic that I LOVE (Brookwood Animal Hospital), and love everyone that works there. I mean... can Someone hit me over the head a few more times to get the point across??? I can't tell you how happy it made me to drive past the Hospital and see that there was a new sign out front, raised slightly higher off the ground to fit one more doctor name :) Lindsey Lane Verlander, DVM

As for now, me and Matt are getting excited about CHRISTMAS!!! We are having our Christmas on the 22nd, Matt's Aunt Janie's birthday is the 32rd, Matt's family Christmas on the 24th, my family Christmas on the 25th, then my Mom's best friend, Andie's Christmas the 26th. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! My most favorite thing in the WORLD (and how I show that I care for people) is giving them things that they want/need/love, and Christmas is an excuse to do that for everyone that I care about. Watching them open the presents, seeing their happiness, and spending so much time with families just enjoying each others company, seeing friends that I haven't seen in so long... there is just nothing better.

So I leave you with the most Merry Christmas wish of all from the Verlanders!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finally, time to breathe!

I just ended two very difficult rotations back to back... small animal and large animal internal medicine. So basically for the past six weeks I have not had time to do anything except work and sleep (the former a lot more than the later!). I am THRILLED to now be on dermatology, not because I have an interest in it, but just for a chance to breathe!

The plan for taking derm right now is that I will have some time to study for my board exam (the NAVLE) which is scheduled for November 14th. I have been studying almost every night (until the last 6 weeks) for an hour since August 1. At first I was very stressed and anxious about it, rightly so. It is the test that determines my future. Everything I have worked for since I was 6 years old decided by 6 sections of 60 multiple choice questions and 66 minutes each section (I think the numbers are significant by the way). Then a took a second and realized that:
1) November 14 is going to come anyway, and stressing isnt going to do anything to help me
2) The test isnt everything... if I dont pass, then I will just take it again in April
3) The test doesnt actually mean anything about how I will be as a doctor... it only determines if I can take standardized exams
So I can make the choice to continue worrying about it OR just say whatever happens will happen, enjoy my life, and when November 14th rolls around do the best I can with how I have prepared, and be done. Which is what I have decided.

Since I havent had a life the past 2 months, I have made several plans during this block's amazing 9-5 schedule (weekends OFF) including Mellow Mushroom Trivia every Wednesday, camping in Helen one weekend, and actually spending some time with my WONDERFUL Husband who lives with me but never actually sees me.

On the Husband front... I think I am the luckiest girl in the world. He has been SO amazing during the past few months making me dinner, taking care of Levi, Strauss, and Chanel, cleaning, and just taking care of everything for me so that all I have to do is focus on school. Husband of the year.

Im ready for November 14th. Im ready for May 5th 2012. Im ready to start the next chapter. Ready, and excited.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Here goes nothing!

Several of my friends have blogs and I really enjoy reading them because it lets me keep up with the important things going on in their life even though I may not get to see them often. So I figured, hey... maybe people want to know whats going on in my crazy, random, ever-changing life!

So for those of you that are interested... here it is... my blog. I cant promise to post often, but I will do my best to keep it updated on new and exciting life events, of which will be many very soon!

I am at quite the crossroads currently.
1) Newly wed... what's not life changing about that??
2) Finishing my last year of vet school... basically I have no idea what I want to do after May 5, 2012. internship? residency? specialty? general practice? emergency?... the options are endless and change with my ever-changing mood.
3) Things to come... house hunting, moving, starting a family...

So I hope you enjoy! Please leave your comments :)