Pulse - February 2021 - 4

PULSE PERSPECTIVE

RMCNV@YAHOO.COM

VETERINARY EDUCATION IN
TIMES OF COVID

W

ow! It's already the second month of the new year and I still can't believe we made it this far. We
have been dealing with the pandemic for close to a year and a lot has changed in our daily lives.
I don't believe there is a single aspect of what we used to take for granted as normal that has not
been affected in some way. As veterinarians, we may have fond memories (I hope) of our college years and
the countless hours of studying we had to do to get to where we are now. But for the present/future crop
of veterinarians, they are experiencing something totally different. I have asked my daughter to give us a
glimpse into how veterinary education is being handled during these trying times. She is currently just in
her first year and things may still change as this crisis passes. Hopefully for the better.
During my undergraduate years, I worked as a Peer Mentor
for incoming first year students. The most common question
they would ask me was " what is an easy class to take? " After
pulling out the shared Google Doc of recommended classes I
had compiled with my coworkers, I would recommend notoriously easy virtual classes. " Online classes tend to be easier, "
I would tell them. " You don't have the pressure of going to
class and fitting travel into your schedule, and they usually go
easier on you because the format is easier. " Little did I know, I
would soon eat my words.
When the severity of the pandemic finally hit the US in
March, my last quarter at UC Davis became completely virtual. Instead of being on campus from 7:30AM to 10PM
everyday, I was waking up at 7:50AM for my 8AM classes
and ignoring recorded live lectures so I could watch them
at night. I would only leave my apartment to get groceries
once a week and lived in pajamas all day. At first, it was fun; I
didn't have to wake up early to catch a crowded bus or plan
when to go home to maximize studying on campus but also
get home in time to cook, eat, and shower before midnight.
However, I soon realized that I was missing the things that
made school memorable; mainly, the regular interactions I had
with my friends, coworkers, and mentees were suddenly cut
off. While I had some of my housemates with me to help subdue the isolation of quarantine, I had actually seen many of
them for the last time without even knowing it.
But it's fine, because I was heading to the UC Davis School
of Veterinary Medicine in a few months. Even if my classes
continued to be online, it didn't matter because I was at my
dream school, working toward my dream profession.
Little did I know then that Zoom would continue to dominate my academic life. I knew vet school was going to be
difficult--otherwise I wouldn't have had so many people asking if I would rather do something else--but having an almost
completely online curriculum added a new dimension of difficulty I didn't anticipate.
My first semester of vet school was brimming with Zoom
fatigue. I was sitting in my room and staring at my laptop
from 9AM to 4PM everyday. While being busy for that exact
same timeframe daily was nothing new, staring at and working on my laptop for that long was. Furthermore, each hour
of lecture was packed with information, and each professor
seemed to have a different level of familiarity with Zoom's
features. Although my professors were extremely kind and

4

understanding about the difficulties of Zoom on both sides, I
still struggled with the strain of online learning.
My greatest hurdle was convincing myself to study. While
paying attention to my third hour of Zoom lectures was
tough, going back to my laptop in the evening to review my
notes was even tougher. I missed having physical locations
that I could mentally associate with different tasks; lecture
halls were for learning, the campus was for studying, and my
apartment was for relaxing. Now, my bedroom is all three of
those places, and the lack of separation has made it harder to
focus. I was trying to spend more time studying and putting
my classes first, but as a result I was also less productive, which
brought me short of my own academic expectations.
I recognize that my experience so far doesn't reflect the
experience of everyone in my class; some are doing better,
others worse, but we can all agree that we would rather be
doing labs in person. If I had a choice, I would run far, far
away from online learning. However, for every time I struggle, I've had my peers, friends, and family support me, and
despite most interactions being online, I still found new
friends, made unforgettable memories, and continue to be
excited and passionate about graduating as a DVM.
Plus, you can't beat the comfort of pajamas during class.
Hmm. Pajamas during class? Can't beat that. I guess it's not
all bad. 

Raymond De Villa, DVM
SCVMA President

FEBRUARY 2021

PULSE



Pulse - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - February 2021

Pulse - February 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
SCVMA Profile
SCVMA Profile
Pulsepoints
Practical Pathology
Cover Feature Story
21 to watch in 2021
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
AVMA Diplomates
Resources
Disease Table
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - February 2021 - Pulse - February 2021
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - February 2021 - 1
Pulse - February 2021 - 2
Pulse - February 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - February 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - February 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - February 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - February 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - February 2021 - 8
Pulse - February 2021 - 9
Pulse - February 2021 - 10
Pulse - February 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover Feature Story
Pulse - February 2021 - 13
Pulse - February 2021 - 21 to watch in 2021
Pulse - February 2021 - 15
Pulse - February 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - February 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - February 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - February 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - February 2021 - 20
Pulse - February 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - February 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - February 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - February 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - February 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - February 2021 - 26
Pulse - February 2021 - 27
Pulse - February 2021 - 28
Pulse - February 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - February 2021 - Resources
Pulse - February 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - February 2021 - 32
Pulse - February 2021 - 33
Pulse - February 2021 - 34
Pulse - February 2021 - 35
Pulse - February 2021 - 36
Pulse - February 2021 - 37
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Pulse - February 2021 - 50
Pulse - February 2021 - 51
Pulse - February 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover4
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