Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why we travel

This will have to be quick as Emily fell asleep and I have a million things to clean up outside before the predicted sleet and snow arrive.
A question from Sherri prompted me to write why we were travelling so much. We aren't actually moving permanantly as much as just travelling - our home base right now is in our trailer in Iowa.
In your last year of Veterinary School you can "specialize" somewhat, by choosing which "block" you want to take for your last year. You can take Small Animal, Equine, Production animal Medicine, or Food Animal. The Small Animal people have a list of required courses they have to take, which are usually in 2 week blocks. Things like Small Animal Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Opthamology, Small Animal Surgery etc. They are kept pretty busy in the vet school hospital and clinics. Equine are also fairly busy here as the school sees a lot of horses. The production Animal Medicine and Food Animal Medicine people have a disadvantage because Iowa State does not see a lot of the cases they need for experience - ie. working with cows, sheep, pigs etc. So in order for those taking Production Animal Medicine in their last year to get the experience they need, they are allowed to take "preceptorships" or "externships" for credit in 2 week blocks at different clinics around the world. The Small Animal and Equine people are allowed also, but they have so many required courses that they don't have as much time to get away to do preceptorships. Ben wanted to get more experience with cow/calf operations as well as learning how to do better ultrasounding for pregnancy checking, embryo transfer and so on, so found clinics in South Dakota, Manitoba, Wyoming, and Nebraska that specialize in these things and then he got approval from the vet school to get credit for going to these clinics.
So, in May, he went up to do Embryo Transfer with a clinic in Manitoba for 2 weeks, then we came back to Iowa for an elective he had signed up for called Dermatology. He then did a required course through the university (clinical pathology and microbiology), then we took 2 weeks off to go to British Columbia with my family. July we were back here in Iowa at the university and he took 2 weeks of another required course (can't remember which one) and his required 4 weeks of Intensive Care/Emergency work done in the emergency clinic at the university. When that was done, we travelled out to South Dakota for 2 weeks to visit a practice that does a lot of Embryo sexing for cow/calf producers, then we went down to Nebraska for 2 weeks to another veterinary clinic that does a lot of work with feedlots and large producers. We went back to North Dakota for a week at labor day and then were back down at the vet school in October for Ben to take 2 more required courses, namely Public Health and Necropsy. Those were 2 weeks each and then we travelled to Wyoming to visit another clinic. After 2 weeks there, Ben took 2 weeks off for Thanksgiving and we are back in Iowa at our trailer for Ben to take an elective of Small Animal Internal Medicine and then we have required courses til January 29th (Anesthesiology and Radiology). He has 4 weeks of Production Animal Medicine here at the University, then 2 weeks to take an elective or another preceptorship before we head up to North Dakota to take a preceptorship during the first 2 weeks of April.
Clear as mud?? Yes, it is confusing to all of us. *G*
I'd better go
Signing off
Heather, Ben who didn't come home for lunch and must be starving, Emily who is sound asleep, Tia who is very sick from scarfing down two homemade loaves of French bread while we were away from home!!! (BAD DOG), Becky who wishes she could have had some bread, Mocha who is cold and lonely after living with Stegmans for 2 months and having a warm fireheated stove to sit by, and no goodbyes from Frank as he is still in North Dakota after disappearing the morning we were leaving to go to Iowa and only reappearing after we were 3 hours down the road.

No comments: