January 11, 2007

The numbers

Yesterday one of my dance students asked how long I was going to be teaching. I told her I'd have to stop teaching next March when I go into clinics. She asked more about what that meant. I described externships and clinical rotations to her. She said, "Oh, that's kind of like becoming a doctor," which ruffled my feathers (though I'm used to those sorts of remarks, it never ceases to annoy me)--and I retorted, "It IS becoming a doctor."

I was curious. I looked up how many credit hours UK med students take during their second year in med school.
They take 39 credit hours during 2nd year. (Which is a heck of a lot--I remember taking 19 credit hours one semester in college and vowing never to repeat that mistake again (if only I knew what I was getting myself into by choosing vet school).) Compare that with the fact that Tufts vet med students take 33 credit hours during the second semester of their 2nd year alone. We take 24 credit hours 1st semester of 2nd year, and we have 4 additional pass/fail courses per semester too.
2nd year med students: 39 credit hours
2nd year vet med students: 57 credit hours
I'd guess the med students have pass/fail courses like us too, but is it just me, or is that not a significant difference?

I've been talking about this sort of thing the whole time I've been up here, and we've got the whole "human doctors only have to learn one animal and we have to learn all the rest" argument...but somehow seeing, in black and white, the numbers...well, it just makes me all the more annoyed that vets aren't given the credit they're due. The general public thinks vets go to a 2 year community college or something, and human doctors (let alone the general public) are astounded to hear that veterinarians can do 3-5 year residencies ("Just like a real doctor!") !!

As the fed up and disenchanted Wayne said, "ehh, bite me."

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