Some additional and welcome know-how

Spring 2014

Laurence Arpin

Schulich Leader at Université de Montréal

This second year in veterinary medicine has been full of a broad variety of experiences. After my summer trip on a few farms in Europe, from May to August 2013, I came back the mind invigorated, ready to plunge deeper in my vocational training. Fortunately, some courses I had this year such as Veterinary Infectiology and Systemic Pathology allowed me to enter the practionner’s world more than ever. Some welcome knowledge, in short !
To go further, but above all faster, learning applied know-how, I also got involved in two teams in the Equine Hospital. The first one, the Foal Team, gathers volunteer students devoted to nocturnal cares for newborn foals. The other one, the Colic Team, consists of a few students employed as surgery assistants for the emergency surgeries occurring during the night in the Equine Hospital. A great way to apply my freshly acquired surgical knowledge !
I also took advantage of this year being in St-Hyacinthe to get involved in the Faculty of veterinary medicine’s Birds of Prey Clinic. As a volunteer student, I helped them to keep there ambassadorial birds used to the human contact. To achieve this goal, I went each week for a walk with a bird of prey on my fist. For example, you can see me with a barred owl on this picture. This clinic aims to cure wild birds that have been injured in one way or another. Obviously, veterinarians wish to release them in nature after the treatment period, but they are sometimes forced to keep them in captivity, for example if the bird misses a wing or is too much impregnated with human presence.
Finally, in March, during my school break, I also enjoyed a short self-organized externship at a veterinary clinic in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean (a region in the North of Quebec). It was really encouraging to follow these female practitioners working with cows and horses. It was also a nice opportunity to be initiated to some professional acts, such as equine dental work and gestation diagnosis for the cows. I have the feeling that the knowledge I’m acquiring right now will one day inspire me to pursue more fundamental research related to farm animals.