On April 22, 2016, the class of 2017 passed another milestone in their pursuit of a DVM degree as they transitioned from the classroom to the clinics at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. The Transition Ceremony, attended by faculty, staff, family and friends of these veterinary students, is a welcome tradition at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
“What’s unique about this is that it demarcates the division between three years of basic science curriculum for our professional students and the clinics,” said Dr. Reed Holyoak, head of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. “In that clinical environment they will be exposed, sometimes 24 hours a day, to all of the things in a working clinical hospital. And they are immersed in those cases. They have residents and interns that will be instructing and overseeing the work that they do as well as our senior clinicians who are specialists in that area.”
As the class prepared for this next step, students reflected on what it means.
“Today I’m thinking about all the accomplishments that we as a class and me as an individual have accomplished in the last three years,” said Kaylynn Gruntmeir of Stillwater, Okla. “I’m excited about entering clinics and really getting the hands on experience over there.”
“I’m just excited to start fourth year; being around all the people and getting to interact with animals,” added Debra Nguyen of Oklahoma City.
“I’m thinking about relaxing for the next week before I move on to something bigger and better – in this case fourth year and clinics,” stated Cameron Smithee, class representative from Colorado Springs, Colo. “It’s, in my mind, the best school in the country. And it seems to be the consensus every time I talk to anybody at a convention or otherwise.”
“I came to the Open House and I fell in love,” said Mary Girton of Marietta, Ga. “I’m getting ready for fourth year and hoping to be successful with it.”
After Dr. Holyoak, representatives from each service in the Veterinary Medical Hospital and Rebekah Hartfield, 2016 class representative, shared words of encouragement and advice, each student received their original white coat. This time instead of the plain white coat they received as a first year student, their coat bears their name, the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences emblem and the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association emblem.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate what they have accomplished for the first three years,” concluded Holyoak.
The class of 2017 officially begins the last leg of their educational journey to a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University.
Perhaps Mary Girton said it best, “Go Pokes.”