Emergency Medicine Selective Interview

Emergency Medicine Selective Interview

Interviewer: Jessica Hammer, V20

Student: Emily Boches, V20

JH- Hi! Tell me your name and a little bit about yourself.

EB- My name is Emily and I am a V20 from Massachusetts. I’m not sure if I want to work in small or large animal medicine yet but there’s still time for me to decide!

JH- Can you tell us about the selective program?

EB- Sure! The selective program at Cummings School is an opportunity for students to get hands on experience in an area of our choosing. Although there are a lot of labs, clinics, hospitals, and other facilities that we can work at, I decided to stay at Tufts and work in the emergency animal hospital. This means I go into the hospital every week and work alongside the doctors, residents and technicians that work there every day.

JH-When did you start and how often do you go?

EB- This was the first selective that I had the chance to do because I am a first year student and don’t do a selective in the fall semester. I started visiting the emergency hospital in January and have been going for two to four hours every week since. There are a lot of us in the selective for emergency animal medicine but we’re allowed to visit the hospital whenever we want which is helpful for fitting the hours in around classes.

JH- Why did you choose this selective over others where you could work at clinics or hospitals in the area?

EB- When I was deciding what selective I wanted to do I really wanted to find something that would let me gain experience in a clinic environment. A lot of the other selective programs with animal hospitals or clinics in the area looked like there would be plenty of hands-on interaction, but at Cummings School you also get to work with different doctors and techs in a lot of unusual cases. I really liked that I was going to be exposed to so many patients and cases working in the emergency hospital.

JB- What is your favorite part of working in the emergency hospital? What is your least favorite part?

EB- My favorite part of working in the animal hospital is getting to see what we learn in class in the real world. One day in lab we learned about neurological exams and that night I went into the hospital and there was a dog that was in for possible neurological damage. The doctor that was on call did a neurological exam first thing—it was cool to see what we were learning applied to the patient. We also get to practice our skills and learn new ones with the techs and doctors. For example, we had a patient come in and three of us students that were there did the preliminary exam and then noted our findings to the doctor on call. He reviewed what we found and then told us what we had missed and what we should be doing differently. I feel like that kind of exposure early on in our careers is invaluable.

My least favorite part is the fact that sometimes I don’t get to see a case to its completion. A patient will come in and I’ll watch it get triaged but never really get to see what happens at the end of it because I have to leave for class or go study before the case can get resolved.

JH-Do you think your career as a veterinarian has been influenced by the experiences you’ve had during the emergency medicine selective?

EB- Working at the emergency hospital has not helped me choose a specific specialty, but it has made me more open to the idea of specializing in general. When I started vet school I had no intention of specializing, however, after seeing what the additional knowledge and training can do in an emergency situation I might pursue something that I find interesting in the coming years.