Fourth-year veterinary medicine student, Evie talks about a week in the life of a veterinary medicine student in UCD.



This semester’s timetable has been really great as we have four hours off during the day on Mondays and Tuesdays. Each week, a different group from the class get the bus to Lyon’s Research Farm in Co. Kildare for a practical for our Clinical Reproduction module. For other weeks, this free period was a great opportunity to catch up on lecture content, finish off assignments, and of course, take a much-needed break in our favourite spot, the Vet Cafe. However, this week was my group’s turn, so after morning lectures (8am-10am), armed with wellies, waterproofs, and a winning sense of enthusiasm, we were off to Lyon’s farm.

We had been given a document to read prior to the practical which outlined the basic principles of palpation (which assists with detecting fertility and pregnancy in female farm animals)- it was 15 pages long, so a refresh of it was needed on the bus over to the farm!

This was a really informative practical, giving lots of opportunities to apply the different techniques for fertility assessment we had learned in the classroom with some of the lovely cows from Lyon’s farm’s dairy herd. These practicals are one of my favourite aspects of studying veterinary in UCD, as getting the chance to practice things in a hands-on fashion from early on in the course is a really valuable way to develop our first day competencies for when we graduate as vets.

Each group was then assigned a project to complete within the week. For this, we have to research our given topic and compile a group essay. This project was worth 20% of our overall mark for our Reproduction module, so definitely a very welcome help towards our final exams! Our project was on Cystic Ovarian Disease in Dairy Cows, which is a disease of major economic concern for farmers, and also a popular exam question in the finals too.




Tuesday night we had the White Coat Pub Quiz organised by the 3rd year Vet Nurses, who will be receiving their white coats with us in a couple of weeks time at the White Coat Ceremony. This “coating” marks our progression into the clinical final year of our respective courses. The quiz was a great night to meet up with friends and mix and mingle with the vet nurses, who will be on clinical rotations with us next year. There was particular excitement as our team emerged as the overall winners!



This week was a reasonably light one, and with our Reproduction project submitted on Wednesday, there was time to attend one of the most hotly anticipated Vetsoc educational events of the semester. Five vets from Stillorgan Village Vets held a “Speed Interviewing Evening” for the vet and vet nursing students. This was a great opportunity to practice our communication and interviewing skills, with plenty of great advice on making a good first impression, CV writing and of course, some yummy pizza too!



Thursday was another early start, with a lecture on the Orthopedic conditions of the canine hip, followed by lectures on Diagnostic imaging of the equine lower limb, and Surgical repair techniques for fractured limbs. This trimester we have five modules: Clinical Reproduction; Clinical Musculoskeletal System; Herd Health & Population Medicine; Veterinary Public Health II and a module in Senses, Exotics & Critical Care. Each week sees a focus on two of the modules, so this week we had a practical lab in Ophthalmology. For this, we were split into small groups and worked through a number of clinical cases presented to us. These labs are really good to help improve our evaluative thinking, how to go about tackling cases and creating up a treatment plan for rotations in the vet hospital next year.

Lecture and Coffee number 3 of the day so far!

I had my exotics tutorial the previous week, where we worked through diagnosis and treatment plans for everything from a “Fluffed up budgie” to a “Rabbit with the Sniffles”, so I had the rest of the day off to catch up on some study and meet up with some friends to go swimming in the UCD pool and then take a walk along the Dun Laoghaire pier for an early first 99 ice-cream of the year.

Vet students getting out and about for the day!



Friday saw another 8am lecture (8am is the usual start time for lectures in the vet course!) on Caesarean sections in large animals like cows, followed by a lecture on the Humane Transport of animals to the abattoir. The animal welfare aspect of the veterinary medicine course is one I am especially interested in, especially as it highlights the importance of the work of veterinary inspectors in abattoirs for ensuring public health and safety is maintained. At lunchtime, it was one of our friend’s birthday, so after cake, doughnuts, singing of happy birthday we went out to enjoy some of the surprise February sun on the grass outside O’Reilly Hall. It was then into a lecture on medical oncology before we were off for the weekend to head home and spend some time with my family and dog Bella!

Our favourite hang out spot, UCD Vet Cafe

animals dog

Home to my lovely dog,  Bella boo!

For more information on studying Veterinary Medicine in UCD, check out myUCD.

Why not come on a campus tour of UCD and check out the Veterinary Sciences Centre for yourself – just book in here.