A Week in the Life of a Veterinary Medicine Student

First Two Years (50 hrs/wk)

  • Class Time (24 hrs/wk)
  • Studying (20 hrs/wk)
  • Community Outreach (4 hrs/wk)
  • Clinical Rotations (2 hrs/wk)

Last Two Years (65 hrs/wk)

  • Elective Rotations (32 wks)
  • Required Rotations (33 wks)

While it is tough, I have been able to balance class, studying, and personal time while at WesternU. You get what you put in, and despite what you may think, there will be time for a personal life.

– Melanie Goodstein, DVM 2009

Class Time

Your classes consist of a combination of problem-based learning (PBL) case studies, mandatory class sessions, and optional question-answer discussions. You will also attend a Molecular Cell Biology and Veterinary Issues course and dissect cadavers in Anatomy.

Studying

Chances are you will develop a group of friends with whom you will make study guides and share resources. You will also work with faculty as field experts and study in groups to master the material and prepare for the next day’s PBL group.

Clinical Rotations

In your first and second year, you will rotate through a variety of local sites where you will be given the opportunity to perform physical examinations, administer vaccinations, practice venipuncture, perform laboratory diagnostic tests, and assist with anesthesia during surgery.

Community Outreach & Professional Development

WesternU offers an enormous range of service-learning and professional growth opportunities. These events may consist of attending educational workshops, assisting with occupation fairs at local schools, or volunteering at local spay/neuter and vaccination clinics to help underserved pet owners.

Required Rotations

You will take part in twelve, 2 to 4-week rotations, including Small Animal Mixed Practice, Livestock Mixed Practice, Equine Practice, Surgery/Shelter Medicine, Population Health & Production, Diagnostic Laboratory and Pathology, Laboratory Animal & Research, Zoo Animal & Wildlife, Veterinary Public Health, Food & Feed Safety, and Foreign Animal Diseases/International Veterinary Medicine.

Elective Rotations

You will take part in eight, 4-week rotations in your area(s) of interest.

For long weekends or during spring and winter breaks, you can go home to see your family, ski, or maybe take a trip to Las Vegas. There are many cultural and recreational things to do when you live in Southern California, so our students try to take advantage of them when they can.

First Two Years
Class Time

Your classes consist of a combination of problem-based learning (PBL) case studies, mandatory class sessions, and optional question-answer discussions. You will also attend a Molecular Cell Biology and Veterinary Issues course and dissect cadavers in Anatomy.

Studying

Chances are you will develop a group of friends with whom you will make study guides and share resources. You will also work with faculty as field experts and study in groups to master the material and prepare for the next day’s PBL group.

Clinical Rotations

In your first and second year, you will rotate through a variety of local sites where you will be given the opportunity to perform physical examinations, administer vaccinations, practice venipuncture, perform laboratory diagnostic tests, and assist with anesthesia during surgery.

Community Outreach & Professional Development

WesternU offers an enormous range of service-learning and professional growth opportunities. These events may consist of attending educational workshops, assisting with occupation fairs at local schools, or volunteering at local spay/neuter and vaccination clinics to help underserved pet owners.

Last Two Years
Required Rotations

You will take part in twelve, 2 to 4-week rotations, including Small Animal Mixed Practice, Livestock Mixed Practice, Equine Practice, Surgery/Shelter Medicine, Population Health & Production, Diagnostic Laboratory and Pathology, Laboratory Animal & Research, Zoo Animal & Wildlife, Veterinary Public Health, Food & Feed Safety, and Foreign Animal Diseases/International Veterinary Medicine.

Elective Rotations

You will take part in eight, 4-week rotations in your area(s) of interest.

Non-Academic Time

For long weekends or during spring and winter breaks, you can go home to see your family, ski, or maybe take a trip to Las Vegas. There are many cultural and recreational things to do when you live in Southern California, so our students try to take advantage of them when they can.