|Brand new teaching facilities at Dick Vet! (thanks for the pic, Sabrina!)|
Since the program was designed for first-degree students, classes started a little slow, going back to the basics of cell biology. It was a little tedious, but also interesting to relate the molecular processes I've learned many times before back to medicine. I'm thrilled to finally be starting the meat (excuse the pun!) of the course, with anatomy dissections this week!
One perk of the program, is that animal handling begins much earlier than most US-schools. Often you hear US students complain that they have no animal contact for the first 2 years of vet school. I've already spent approximately one afternoon a week at the school's working dairy farm, and have had practical classes in both cattle and sheep handling.
Cattle handling was an amazingly physical way to spend the afternoon...even with them restrained in metal crushes. While attempting to place a mouth gag in one particularly unruly cow, I was momentarily lifted off both of my feet as she decided to whip her head up and to the opposite side. My legs were sore for days from squatting to brace myself against any potential head-butting! I found myself very thankful for even just the handful of days I got to ride around with Dr. Alley, gaining basic cow knowledge! While I am by no means proficient in wrangling large ruminants, I found myself less tentative than many of my classmates. I'd like to think that I was willing to jump in there and work with even the stubbornest of cows with, of course, a gentle finesse. ;)
|Sheep in Silverknowes, near the Firth of Forth (bay that opens into the North Sea)|
Finally, I'll end with explaining the school's name, since I always get asked! William Dick founded the veterinary school in 1823. Since there was already the Royal Veterinary School in London, the founder's unfortunate name had to be included to distinguish the two programs. Thus, I am now proudly a student at "Dick Vet!"