My Day as an Osteopathic Veterinarian

True story. I might consider using it for my personal statement for residency:

A few months ago (in the summer of 2013), I decided to go for a short walk to get my out-of-shape heart pumping. As I crossed the street, a neighbor came up to me and said, “I hope the bunnies are okay.”

I replied, “What do you mean?”

“The guys were mowing the lawn over there and mowed over some bunnies. They were in their little hole. I hope they are okay.”

At this point, I just had to see this. I had my neighbor bring me over to the bunnies, fully expecting to see guts and fur everywhere. What am I going to do for damaging control? How do I stop a bunny from hemorrhaging. I have no saline with me. Heck, I don’t even have a bottle of water. I thought to myself: I may have to nurse wounded bunnies back to health. I mean, I am bound to the oath of Hippocrates, right?

“It’s okay. The doctor is hear,” my neighbor shouted. I never treated animals before, but people don’t have to know that.

“Where are they?” I asked.

She pointed out two small, rodent-like creatures, about 6 feet apart. Very small bunnies. Baby bunnies.

So using my awesome history taking skills that I acquired for the capstone (practice COMLEX Level 2-PE), I began quizzing the neighbor:

  • Is the mom dead? No.

  • Where is she? Over there, by that tree over all the way over there.
  • Are any of the baby bunnies hurt? I don’t know.

I did not ask about OPQRST (basic questions all doctors should ask their patients)  in any way, shape, or form.

Then for my physical exam, I decided to see if the babies are ok:

  • Inspection. Ears are intact. Limbs are intact.

  • Neurology testing. I poked both their heads with my pointer finger. They hopped away a little. Normal bunny behavior.

I did not auscultate, palpate, or percuss in any way, shape, or form.

As for treatment, I scooped up one baby bunny (at great risk to myself for a rabid, baby bunny bite) and placed it back in its burrow. There was already a baby bunny in there. I did the same for the other bunny (again, at great risk to myself). But this one was not as cooperative. It began to squeal and squeal. What a baby – literally. I placed it back in its burrow.

The mother bunny suddenly showed up. I think the mother bunny came to thank me. She kept following me for about 50 feet. “It’s okay. No payment necessary. Your gratitude is sufficient,” I thought to myself.

I left the bunnies better than I found them. My neighbor thinks I’m a hero. Onlookers cheered. Actually, they just looked. But I’m sure they were cheering in their hearts.

All in all, I have to say that it was a job well done:

  • I was willing to nursing bunnies back to health, at my own expense.

  • I was not afraid to touch the patients. I stayed true to the osteopathic philosophy.
  • I did not charge for my services.
  • I re-united a broken family.

Thinking about it, the humanistic (or rather the bunny-istic) part of the encounter was through the roof.

I will make for a grand doctor soon enough. (Or at least a fine veterinarian.)

I wonder if there is an osteopathic veterinarian. There should be.

For more medical school stories, visit the About Alex section and look for “Blast from the Past (Stories of My Medical School Days).”

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