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:
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!!!