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Update on the Weather - Catherine Fischer [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Catherine Fischer

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Update on the Weather [Nov. 15th, 2005|07:25 pm]
Catherine Fischer
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Limb by Limb, Phish]

Snow, snow, snow, say the weather forecasts. But this morning when I awoke, the streets were still rainy and grey; the trees were still pointing barren fingers accusingly at the sky, awaiting their winter benediction. All day long, everyone speaks of snow. Autumn has outstayed its welcome, with its many shades of sorrowful grey, lugubrious cityscapes artificially brightened with winter decorations and twinkling lights that flash in the pallid sunlight, dancing in fantastic animation when the wind blows at night.

Today was a good day. I am on the backslide of large animal medicine, with NO CASES in hospital. It has been eerily quiet in the downstairs dungeon (the large animal hospital), and we, the students, have been using the time to prepare for our national board exams. Mine is December 7, just two days after all of my internship applications are due -- so I've been running all over the hospital, acquiring bits of information and letters of recommendation from various clinicians I respect. This is harder than it sounds. No one has a reasonable or predictable schedule. But today I corralled the last of the lot, have my programs prioritized, faxed my transcript request to Ross headquarters, mailed my check to Ross (they STILL haven't gotten the damn school online, despite two international locations, students scattered all over the continent, and being purchased by DeVry, leader in technology) and even completed my curriculum vitae last night -- this is probably the best job I've done with the thing. I do hope it gains me the grace of those in charge of the internship programs.

In order, I am applying to: University of Minnesota, Oregon State University, Bay Area Veterinary Specialists (for private practice, they have ALL of the diagnostic toys), and VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center (in San Diego). I am most interested in my top two choices; in fact, I had a hard time deciding between the two of them as to ranking. But while Minnesota's crushing caseload is guaranteed to leave me exhausted, it is also guaranteed to send me out the door VERY well trained.

A CASE came in today. A case. We have had, in the entire week and a half so far of large animal medicine, probably 4 cases. There are 4 students on this rotation. So our clinician, Dr. Bentley, asks the obvious question: "who wants it?" The three large animal students remain silent, and take a large step backward. "Don't everyone speak up at once," says Dr. Bentley. "It's mine," I say, exasperated with the lazy-ass large animal students. I'm only there because Ross requires that I track mixed animal. Because of my back, I wouldn't set foot in the large animal hospital if I could help it. My goals for the rotation: get some good review information for boards, and avoid getting hurt. However, the case ends up being extremely interesting. The owner is intelligent, informative, and likable; the horse is extraordinarily charming and good-natured. And I needed a case to present for Grand Rounds in January, with Brent and Kristina, a Minnesota classmate -- and Kristina has nothing, and Brent won't even have any large animal rotations before we present. Big checkbox in Catherine's Magnificent, Astonishing, Ever-Living To-Do List CHECKED. And the last item I needed signed off on my large animal practicum (a Minnesota requirement) was a trans-tracheal wash, which I assisted with today. CHECK. My To-Do List is so overwhelmingly long and out of control that I have nightmares about it. Getting my internship stuff together and these two large animal bits of business accomplished is more of a relief than words can do justice to. I even received praise for my history-taking and differential diagnosis list from a senior clinician that I have a high degree of respect for! I am unaccustomed to this accolade, and it still glows like an ember. Praise is stintingly given, here.

Driving home, the rain lands granular and half-frozen on my windshield, dripping melted sno-cone and just about as inviting. Wet streets and wall-to-wall traffic, red tail-lights... and suddenly, there it is: the first flakes like gnats swirling in eddies around my side mirrors, blooming in great sweeping arcs like fireworks expanding into the night sky against my windshield. Snow. The first snow of winter. The wet streets and traffic no longer matter.
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