As a veterinary student straight out of undergrad with limited clinical experience, the selectives program gave me easy exposure to the hospital and research in a low-pressure setting. I took a selective in small animal surgery, where I was able to get acquainted with the OR, familiarize myself with surgical procedures, and learn the general flow of the hospital. My mentor was Dr. Randy Boudrieau.
The selectives program is extra useful at Tufts because it is a gateway to other programs, for example, the Master’s in Lab Animal medicine or forensics course. I took the Intro to Lab Animal Medicine selective, under mentor Dr. Angie Warner, which introduced me to other like-minded students and professors in a more intimate context than club events or wet labs. It also provided opportunities such as facility tours and anatomy labs.
The networking gained through this selective was very valuable for me, and kick-started various projects, including a research collaboration with Charles River Labs and educational outreach through social media with the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research.
In third year, I continued this curriculum with the Surgery and Anesthesia in Laboratory Animals course, under mentor Dr. David Lee-Parritz, which greatly helped to prepare me for spay/anesthesia lab, medical math and fluid calculations, suture techniques, and discussion of scientific papers.